orcelain production – and I set out to study it. From 2001 to 2008 I directed a National Key Study called Western China Culture Resources Preservation, Development and Utility. To do so, I set up a really big project – with more than 100 scholars, working in lots of groups, focusing on different areas and topics, all concerned with which parts of traditional cultural resources, including various folk arts and folklore, can be preserved and which parts of them can be revived or regenerated to fit into today’s ways of life. We had 76 case studies in total, with fieldwork on cultural resources in six provinces in western areas of China. On the basis of this we published twelve books, appearing in the early 2000s. These included From Heritage to Resource: Western Humanity Resource Study and Long ga People’s Changing Lives: A Study of Suo ga Eco-Museum, as well asSuo ga Diary: A Female Anthropologist’s Study in Miaozhai, Heritage, Practice and Experience, all variously authored or edited by me.

SM What did you find? What makes a difference? What shapes what will continue and what won’t?
LF I found that Jingdezhen’s competitive power is neither in labour nor capital, but in knowledge and artistic value. Jingdezhen already had the knowledge – the knowledge of how to make this special kind porcelain – and also the artistic or aesthetic value or taste. And this gave it the capacity to revive. I also found that as long as the tradition related to art, to performance, to tourism, it can last longer – it shows longer life potential. Things related to daily life, by contrast, are disappearing very quickly. For example, tools for agriculture and everyday labour are disappearing. Whereas things related to art — to performance, dancing, singing— live longer.
SM Do you think for collecting both materials and intangible cultural heritage, enough is being done to preserve and to collect and so on?
LF I don’t think tradition is just about preservation. Heritage has a big relationship with our modern life too. This is what I predicted for Jingdezhen in a book I published in 1990. And from my research in Jingdezhen later it turned out that my predictions were right!
What happened was that in the 1990s, all of the government-owned factory closed. But then thousands of private workshops suddenly sprang up. And these were not just making copies of antiques. Fewer and fewer of them were doing so. Instead, they started making all kinds of different styles. So my new study was about this – about what was being made in these workshops.
One very interesting discovery was that it was not just local craftsmen working in those workshops but craftsmen from different parts of the countries or even from other countries – artists or art students from across the country or around the world. They came to Jingdezhen to learn from local people; and they use the local craft techniques to make

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