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On 8 October 2021 in the Studio of Esteemed Excellence (Jingsheng zhai) at the Palace of Established Happiness (Jianfu gong), the Palace Museum and Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation signed an agreement to jointly promote China’s outstanding traditional culture by utilizing resources unique to each organization and developing videos with themes related to the Palace Museum to advance the innovative transformation and development of China’s outstanding traditional culture.
Wang Xudong, member of the leading Party group of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and director of the Palace Museum, and You Benchang, honorary chairman of Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation, both spoke at the signing ceremony. Zhu Hongwen, deputy-director of the Palace Museum, and Chen Jiawei, chairman of Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation, represented the two parties in signing the contract.
Director Wang Xudong noted how the cooperation between the Palace Museum and Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation is built upon the foundation of their shared social responsibility and promotion of China’s outstanding traditional culture. In the digital era, the Palace Museum has used innovative methods to propagate Chinese culture, including online live streams, online courses, digital cultural relics, exhibitions, and videos that expand offerings for the public. This cooperation with Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation will develop a new platform and demonstrate the Museum’s pluralist values and humanitarian spirit while advancing its role in public welfare.
Wang Xudong, Director of the Palace Museum
Mr. You Benchang spoke on how the Palace Museum’s openness and inclusivity harmonizes with Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation’s concept of “Societal Good for the Public, Cheerful Good for the People”. The majestic architecture of the Forbidden City and the abundance of works in the collection are fruits of the labor and wisdom of working people and a demonstration of the artisanal spirit maintained for several thousand years throughout Chinese history. The Foundation hopes this cooperation will lead the public in understanding these values of working people and appreciating Chinese culture.
You Benchang, Honorary Chairman of Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation
In recent years, the Palace Museum has placed great emphasis on developing projects for the public good. During the epidemic period of 2020, the Museum launched the video course series I Want to Go to the Palace Museum (Wo yao qu Gugong) and The Palace Museum Lecture Forum (Gugong jiangtan). In January of 2020, the Palace Museum and Vanke Foundation started “The Palace Museum Zero Waste” waste sorting project to promote “zero waste offices” and “zero waste tours”. In July 2020, the Palace Museum and China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation signed a memorandum for a restroom renovation project to improve the Museum’s public service infrastructure. Additionally, the Palace Museum has sent personnel to Beiye Village in Hebei Province to assist in primary educational programs with donated books and educational activities. The Museum also held an educational painting activity for hearing-impaired youth at the Forbidden City on International Day for Monuments and Sites.
Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation was established by You Benchang to uphold the spirit of the monk Ji Gong (or the Honorable Ji, i.e., ca. 1130–1209) by employing the arts to guide people’s hearts through youth performance training, funding for countryside teachers, performances for the public good, and donations for those suffering from natural disasters. Currently, “Grandpa Ji Gong: You Benchang” (Ji gong yeye · You Benchang) has tens of millions of followers on his social media accounts, which he uses to attract more participants and volunteers.
The Palace Museum with its abundant cultural resources and experts and Zhejiang Ji Gong Public Welfare Foundation with its experience in producing quality videos and creativity will in these cooperative efforts produce Palace Museum themed videos for publication on the two parties’ official accounts to encourage everyone to be proactive in cultural preservation and promote and develop China’s outstanding traditional culture.
Signing Ceremony Group Photo
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu