The International Organization of Folk Art (IOV) Asia Conference was held on zoom on March 10, 2021 with the theme of “The Present Situation and Future Development & Cooperation of IOV Asia”. Emma Chen Hoefler, Vice-president of IOV, Chair of IOV China, Nasan, Secretary General of IOV Asia, Jayarajan Vakil from India, Gafur Akhmedov from Pakistan, kumagai from Japan and other members of IOV Asia attended the conference.
The host started the conference by asking every participant to make an introduction of themselves and the present situation of local IOV. Jayarajan Vakil and kumagai mentioned the same problem faced by local IOV: though they have the basic office and a number of professors and scholars in the field of cultural heritage especially in handicrafts, they can hardly launch activities and carry out work due to the epidemic and other potential obstacles. George Pilishvili indicated that everything including IOV are almost stop working due to the epidemic, he hopes everything will back to normal in June.
Emma Chen made a detailed introduction of the current situation of IOV China. She mentioned that luckily China has come to a normal life and there are no obstacles flying between cities in China. Although the epidemic blocked the face-to-face communication of all people, everyone were able to meet each other online at anytime and anywhere. The only regret is that she can’t see her children who were far away in Germany. In fact, it was obvious the epidemic exerted a serious impact on traditional culture, and many traditional festivals were forced to stop. In addition, due to the development of modern technology and the Internet, more and more young people gradually lost interest in traditional culture and folklore festivals. How and what should IOV do to protect traditional cultural heritage and festivals is the theme of today’s topic. Emma Chen also put forward that time is changing, and IOV should keep pace with the times, and promote the protection, inheritance, innovation and development of cultural heritage through new way in the current era.
To deal with the existing problems, Emma Chen put forward some suggestions: Firstly, adjusting the definition of IOV. She thought IOV should not only focus on the development of traditional folk arts festivals, but also undertake the responsibilities of publicizing cultural heritage, carrying out researches and opening international conferences. To achieve the goal, IOV China can launch some activities and programs. Emma Chen suggested that the Academy of Cultural Heritage and Creativity of Jinan University as a launching base and regularly carry out some training programs, inviting cultural heritage scholars from all over the world to teach the knowledge of world heritage, intangible cultural heritage and other basic concepts concerning cultural heritage. In addition, the Academy can also invite creative design masters of cultural heritage to give lectures for the students, which is also the activity will be carried out by the Academy this October. Secondly, holding the IOV Asian Conference regularly. Every member can share the situation of IOV in local country during the conference and the results of the conference can be collected and published in JNU magazines and be shared with all IOV member in different languages for local publication. At the end of the conference, Chen expressed her wish that all the IOV Asia members get together in Beijing or Guangzhou in China when the epidemic situation become better.
The IOV Asia Conference generalize the existing problems of IOV Asia and put forward some proposals and solutions, which is of great significance to the further development of traditional culture and IOV Asia.