Wax Art and Cultural Tourism Interaction with the Perspective of Generation Z

2022/02/21

Wu Dan, the director of Guangdong Culture and Tourism Interest Camp and the editor-in-chief of the special committee, and He Qianying, a student of the third phase of the interest camp, had an in-depth discussion with Zhou Xueyong, the master of Chinese arts and crafts, and Liu Zhen, the founder of "WeiMuKaiLa Wax Museum", everybody thinks about the topic of "If I were a curator born after 2000" and explores the mystery of the operation of the wax museum together.


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He Qianying
/ a senior student of Jinan University

Before visiting WeiMuKaiLa wax museum, my traditional perception of the wax museum is that the wax museum shows the entertainment and sports celebrities. However, after visiting the WeiMuKaiLa wax museum, what attracted me more was not the wax figures of celebrities but the wax figures of ordinary people, especially the wax figures of "Grandma" and "In-laws" located in the "Guangfu Culture Zone", which are particularly dear to me. It is because it presents the familiar life scenes of people around us. This makes me feel that the wax statues are actually telling more of a story that can resonate with us.


Deng Tang Ying
/ a junior student of Guangdong University of Finance and Economics

Today is my second time to this wax museum. Apart from the fact that this place is a place to break the cognitive and intimate sense as mentioned by this student just now. In fact, young people have more needs and precipitation for culture than we can imagine. When I walked in the wax museum, I felt that the Saikwan style I saw was what I wanted to see in my heart. I hope that in the future, I can see more contents rooted in our local culture with Guangdong characteristics. Because wax sculptures can actually exist in a very small scene, but carry a lot of stories. 


If I were a curator born after 2000, I would be more willing to do cultural things. The reason why vegetarians are more attractive to young people is probably because the story of vegetarians is the story behind our era, and the story of the era may be a very good entry point and innovation point.


After listening to the sharing of above students, I found that whether it is ritual or localization, the post-00s young people have a very strong demand for culture and they are eager to find their roots. At the same time, I have respect for the "Chinese national wax brand" and the "culture of the times" proposed by Ms. Zhou.

 

Wu Dan
/ host


Wax figure is not only an ordinary cultural tourism product, but also an art, which requires a lot of effort and a long time of polishing, so the wax figure itself is especially precious. Therefore, when theming the wax museum or creating these thematic waxworks, it's difficult to seek for speed, and it is more important to keep our initial heart of craftsmanship.

 

Here I would like to ask Ms. Zhou a question: In my opinion, there is no standard for art creation, and the wax craft has its own peculiarity, as if its standard is the more realistic the better, but realistic means a kind of reproduction, and a 100% reproduction is a success. Since wax mannequin is an art, as an art creator, apart from restoration, what other ways can you inject some of your own understanding and thoughts into the waxwork?

Ms. Zhou Xuerong

We make wax sculptures not only for the sake of realism, but also for conveying the emotion of the character. We need to collect a lot of information and understand the life experience of the subject before we start making the sculpture, which can precisely locate the state of the subject at that time, then we need to find his emotion at that condensed moment.


Of course a person has many sides, besides understanding, we also have to choose, that is, what do we want to show? This will all find its answer on the waxwork.


Wu Dan
/ host


The scene imagination in the process of wax figure creation is very much in line with the application of cultural tourism scene, which itself is based on the combination of different elements together, and it happens that the wax figure is telling a story through a waxwork and a situation.


Ms. Zhou

Especially the waxworks of ordinary people are the works that condense the life into the works, then pass them out, which are especially meaningful as they are processed by the creators to express and keep the emotional temperature around them. 


I think our wax museum is more of a cultural bearer, carrying emotions and cultural genes through wax figures and expressing them in this way for a long time. Of course, a generation has its own needs. I hope to learn from you young people, to understand your needs, to know what you want to see, and to create more from your needs.


He Qianying
/ a senior student of Jinan University

Yes, the wax statues here will give me the feeling that it is very realistic, not only can see, but also can touch, which will bring me a fresh feeling. But maybe after we know it, we won't have the idea to visit again. For this problem, I personally think that we can make some small changes from some scenes and theme changes. What is your opinion, Ms. Zhou?


Ms. Zhou

These are exactly the topics we are working on now. We will enhance the richness of the content, when you come in, you may not only see the realistic waxworks, but also get to know the stories behind the wax figures. We will also have a sub-section display.


If you are a young person, you will know the piece that young people want to know, if you are an old person, you will go to the piece that old people like, if you are a child, you will go to the exclusive area for children. In the future we will use the form of stories to pass, and maybe we will hold some activities regularly with different themes, for example, activities around the deeds of Yuan Longping and Bing Xin, which can be carried out in the wax museum.


These activities can be carried out in the wax museum, because we have these wax mannequins here, and they start to take root from this place, which I think is particularly meaningful.


Liu Zhen

I would like to add a few words on the issue of keeping visitors and attracting them to visit the museum again. In the operation of the wax museum, we have been exploring how to make visitors stay longer and how to attract them to visit the museum for more times. 


The first phase of our work is to improve the material of the wax figures, which indirectly enhances the visitors' visiting experience. The second stage of change is to make the wax museum an energy field, which is to transmit the positive energy of celebrity stars to young people, and next there will be more creation scenes and props, empowered by culture and technology. In the third stage, we will make more efforts to involve more young people in cultural creation, so that they can leave good memories here and can take away the beauty.


He Qianying
/ a senior student of Jinan University

I think the wax museum can become a microcosm of the city, so I would like to ask if it’s possible to make the wax museum a display carrier of the overall city cultural ecology?


Ms. Zhou

This situation may require a better understanding of the whole local culture, because the waxworks are presented individually, some of the wax statues are in different scenes, and some of the attributes of the wax figures are difficult to change. Therefore, some wax figures may appear abruptly in the ecology of "cultural language" of different cities.


Liu Zhen

In the future, our wax museums hopes to follow a specific story line. At the earliest time, we wanted to write a script to connect the wax museum in series, but we found that we could not write this out because it felt very abrupt. For example, when we got to the ancient mythology "Journey to the West" and then jumped to the music area, it was difficult to put different characters into one story line. But in the future, our wax museum will be built and dug deeper according to the veins of local culture, and the main story line will definitely be the same.


Wu Dan
/ host


Returning to our theme today "how wax art can empower urban cultural tourism". In my opinion, maybe wax art itself is modern culture or carries traditional culture, and cultural tourism is a very good way to spread culture. So if we start from this perspective, what is the strategic positioning of the wax museum? For example, is it a scenic spot or a museum, or a cultural experience museum made up of different cultural tourism scenes?


Liu Zhen

I think the wax museum is the last one, a cultural experience museum made up of different cultural tourism scene. Because it’s a cultural project inside the cultural tourism itself, in a sense a cultural landmark in South China like the Guangzhou Tower. But the wax museum cannot be a tourist destination independently, because it’s limited by the scale, area and the content presented so far. It will continue to explore ways to interact with the Guangzhou Tower in the future.


Ms. Zhou

I feel that the wax museum is still itself first of all. Secondly, I think we hope that it will become a science museum or a paradise in the future, so that visitors can experience culture and feel energy in the process of playing, which is a rather ideal state.