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There’s Something New in the Palace Museum Season Two Explores the Beauty of the Forbidden City

Updated: 2019-11-07 16:53:08

The official release of season two of There’s Something New in the Palace Museum (Shangxinle Gugong)—a joint production of the Palace Museum and Beijing Television with Huachuan Culture Communication and Chuntian Film and Television—was announced during a press conference at the Studio of Esteemed Excellence (Jingsheng zhai) in the garden of the Palace of Established Happiness (Jianfu gong) on Thursday, 7 November 2019. Present to witness the event were members of the Party group of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Director Wang Xudong and Deputy-Director Lou Wei of the Palace Museum; Deputy-Director Zhao Lei of the Beijing Municipal Publicity Department; Li Chunliang, president of Beijing Television; Xu Tao, deputy-editor of Beijing Television; Liu Bing, president of Huachuan Culture Communication; the program’s head director Mao Jia; Edward Zhang (Zhang Luyi), representative for the Palace Museum’s development of innovative cultural products; and new product representatives, including Yan Yikuan, Song Yi, and Jiang Mengjie.


New Horizons: Innovative Exhibitions of the Beauty of the Palace Museum

Having received the Magnolia Award for Best Television Series at the twenty-fifth Shanghai Television Festival, There’s Something New in the Palace Museum in its first season won the approval of the industry and market by virtue of its harmonization of traditional history and culture with innovative media production. While maintaining the unique characteristics of the first season, season two uses new approaches to create more possibilities for the Palace Museum’s cultural productions.

During the event, the Palace Museum’s Director Wang Xudong noted how There’s Something New in the Palace Museum uses innovative style enjoyed by youth to vividly display the appeal of the Palace Museum. He hopes more people will appreciate the beauty of the Palace Museum and its associated history and culture through the deep exploration of cultural heritage in the program.

As the key behind-the-scenes promoter of the series, Executive Producer Liu Bing described how season two of There’s Something New in the Palace Museum has new breakthroughs. He stated that we have three instruments to understand the audience’s fondness for the program: first, a telescope to enhance the program’s horizon, which focuses vertically on time and horizontally on the world with a view to the sixth centennial of the Forbidden City and 5,000 years of Chinese civilization; second, a microscope to enhance cultural content, which brings together analytical research by the Palace Museum’s experts and film to provide substantive offerings to the audience; and, third, a magnifying glass to enhance the industry structure, which allows the reinvigoration of traditional culture to occur on an industry level rather than merely on a cultural level while pioneering a larger imaginative space for taking traditional culture into the daily lives of the masses.

New Explorations: Deng Lun and Edward Zhang Explore the Palace Museum with Other Celebrities

Before the press conference during a showing of There’s Something New in the Palace Museum season two, Director Mao Jia disclosed that this season would present new perspectives on archaeology and history extending back into the preceding 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. In order to better present this concept on screen, season two gives a new view of the explorers as they wander through the Forbidden City, unearth historical secrets hidden in the Palace Museum, and appreciate China’s resplendent civilization that has endured for five millennia.

This season welcomes back the actor Deng Lun, who represented the development of the Palace Museum’s cultural innovation for season one, and features the actor Edward Zhang with a variety of questions to lead the wonderful journey of exploration in the Palace Museum. During the press conference, Edward Zhang took advantage of the occasion with the Museum’s specialists to say that he grew up in Beijing and, although he was familiar with the Palace Museum, always felt it was shrouded in mystery. As a boy, he continued, he would pass the solemn crimson walls, but only as an adult did he come to understand that it was not merely an ancient city but a cultural treasury. He expressed his fortune at being able to study with the Museum’s experts and personally understand how generations of researchers and workers have served to protect the Palace Museum.

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Additionally, during the conference, new product representatives Kevin Yan Yikuan, Song Yi, and Jiang Mengjie shared interesting experiences with anecdotes about the diverse environments in the Forbidden City and how they were able to learn a great deal during the production of the anticipated second season.

Other socially active artists such as Yang Mi, Lareina Song Zuer, and Ma Tianyu who love traditional culture and the spirit of exploration are also participating in these efforts with various viewpoints by sharing the news from the Palace Museum with a wider audience.

New Originalities: The Palace Museum as the Soul of Promoting China’s Outstanding Traditional Culture

The extensive and profound traditional culture of China has always been the foundation of the Chinese people in the trends of world cultures. In recent years, the Palace Museum has seized contemporary trends with highly popular productions featuring original works with aspects of traditional culture. Meanwhile, Beijing Television has created a wealth of quality programs in line with national trends and contemporary media standards. During this time of commemorating the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing Television is completing its mission to carry on the legacy of traditional culture through innovation and, moreover, to comprehensively promote China’s excellent traditional culture.

During the press conference, President Li Chunliang of Beijing Television reflected on the difficulty of effectively capturing the extensive and profound history and culture of the Palace Museum with its over 1.8 million collection pieces, focusing on revelatory themes, presenting an entertaining perspective, and representing academic specialties. He shared his anticipation for the production quality and concept depth of There’s Something New in the Palace Museum season two to attract celebratory attention for the sixth centennial of the Forbidden City.

Deputy-Director Zhao Lei of the Beijing Municipal Publicity Department told how he and his colleagues are currently researching how the Temple of Heaven (Tian tan) and the Summer Palace (Yihe yuan) can learn from the Palace Museum in creating innovative products while maintaining the protection and propagation of history and traditional culture.

Which aspects of traditional culture will the actors and promoters of cultural innovation Deng Lun and Edward Zhang lead us to explore in this new season? What new innovative cultural products will be revealed? Stay tuned to Beijing Television and iQiyi for There’s Something New in the Palace Museum season two as the joint production of the Palace Museum and Beijing Television with Huachuan Culture Communication and Chuntian Film and Television will air beginning 8 November.

Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying

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