Anying CHEN ✿ An advocate of craft innovation

Professor Anying CHEN generously offers a Chinese perspective on crafts, meeting the needs of people while also looking beyond to the future.  

Anying CHEN is the chair of the Art History Department, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University, tenured professor and PhD supervisor for art theories, aesthetics, intangible cultural heritage and traditional crafts, modern and contemporary art. He is also the deputy director of the Key Laboratory of Traditional Craft Techniques and Materials Research, Ministry of Culture and Travel. He took charge of several research projects such as Contemporary Developing of Chinese Traditional Crafts, Art Theories of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and so on. He co-curated many events such as the 1st Beijing International Design Triennial (2011), Youth Forum of Traditional Crafts (2016- ), ORIGIN OF LACQUER ART International Conference(2018-), The 4rd China Design Exhibition & Public Art Thematic Exhibition(2023)and a series of exhibitions and forums on traditional crafts and intangible cultural heritage since 2015. He won the second prize of Education Ministry’s Sixth Outstanding Scientific Research Achievement Award and “National Excellent Individual for Intangible Culture Heritage Safeguarding” awarded by Ministry of Culture and Travel, China.

He works and lives in Beijing, and with the help of different Intangible Culture Heritage Safeguarding projects, he has gotten acquainted with craftsmen all over China. He enjoys writing their stories, especially the stories of innovation. He tends to look at ICH from an artistic perspective and is interested in how ICH can be integrated into contemporary life and play a role in modern civilization.

The robot embroiderer - Anying Chen explains a project to develop a robot to assist in the intricate embroidery craft.
Anying CHEN: Craft revivals in today’s China - The tenth talk in our Reinventing the Wheel series goes to mainland China, where Professor Anying CHEN discusses many projects by his university that revive traditional crafts across the country.
Craft revival in China: How to make an old year new again - Anying Chen outlines a project to revive New Year prints, which are posted in Chinese homes to help begin the year on a positive note.
Can Suzhou Embroidery be contemporary art? - Anying Chen discusses the Suzhou embroidery produced by Yao Huifen for the China Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017, and considered whether it would be considered contemporary art from a Chinese perspective.