Fang Wenshan: We Need the New Style Hanfu to Adapt the Modern Society

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Fang Wenshan: We Need the New Style Hanfu to Adapt the Modern Society
▲ In addition to the most well-known identity of “lyricist in Chinese music”, Fang Wenshan (方文山) is also a promoter of Hanfu.

Q: How do you become an enthusiastic promoter of Hanfu?

A: I am not an active promoter of Hanfu, but I have a certain sense of mission to traditional culture, which can also be explained as enthusiasm and preference. I have written some Chinese style lyrics with the charm of classical poetry before, and I was busy with a drama related to calligraphy a while ago, so I would have paid some attention to the traditional culture.

About nine years ago, I began to pay attention to some activities of Hanfu Tongpao (同袍; Hanfu fans call each other Tongpao) on the Internet and kept continuous attention to this. Since then, I have placed a certain sense of mission on the rejuvenation and promotion of Hanfu. At the same time, Kevin, the director of our company, has some contacts with relevant departments in Xitang (西塘), Zhejiang Province, so it’s a coincidence that we started the first Hanfu culture week in Xitang seven years ago.

Fang Wenshan: We Need the New Style Hanfu to Adapt the Modern Society

Q: In your mind, what is the existence of Hanfu?

A: Hanfu is a long-forgotten traditional dress. Sometimes to explain the Han suit to others, you need to add another sentence: the Han suit is the traditional dress of the Han nationality. As a reporter asked me at that time, I said that we are now promoting Hanfu. He asked, “Hey, what about Mingfu? Where is the Tang suit? “He thought that Hanfu was the clothes of the Han Dynasty, but in fact, it was not. It was the traditional clothes of the Han nationality.

Therefore, in my mind, the Hanfu at this stage is a very distant and strange existence for most people. After all, there are only a few people who are keen to promote the revival of Hanfu.

Q: What was your feeling when you first appeared in public in Hanfu? What kind of reaction do the people around you have?

A: I have already worn Hanfu in private. The first time I officially wore it, it was the first Hanfu Culture Week. I don’t feel weird, I don’t feel awkward, because we are participating in a Hanfu Carnival event. Because we held a few days and nights in Xitang ancient town to promote traditional cultural activities. Thousands of Tongpao wore Hanfu together and held some activities, such as a square array, photography, archery, traditional wedding, etc. So the first time I wore Hanfu in public, it was quite good to recall.

Fang Wenshan: We Need the New Style Hanfu to Adapt the Modern Society
Fang Wenshan at the 7th Xitang Hanfu Culture Week

Q: Which moment related to Hanfu is the most unforgettable for you?

A: there are two related moments. The first one is the first Hanfu culture week. I went to apply for a world record. The world record is Xiangyin Jiuli (乡饮酒礼, the popular banquet custom of Zhou Dynasty), this is a long-standing folk ceremony. I was very excited when the certification officer came from Hong Kong to issue a certificate.

Another moment is the Shanghai Film Festival. It happened to be three years ago that I made a movie “hearing the rain”. I came out with an actress Xu Jiao, who is also a supporter of Hanfu. She wears traditional Chinese clothes. I’m wearing improved Chinese clothes. The media pays close attention to us, because there are few people who wear traditional Chinese clothes on the star road of the film festival, and I feel very happy. After all, such clothes appear in the formal award ceremony, and are attracting attention and welcome.

Fang Wenshan: We Need the New Style Hanfu to Adapt the Modern Society
Fang Wenshan at Shanghai Film Festival
Q: In order to promote Hanfu, you have been holding Hanfu Culture Week activities in recent years, which has also made a good response. What’s your biggest feeling about this?

A: I think the biggest feeling is that through our activities, Hanfu has a sense of cohesion and belonging among different communities. Tongpao regards it (Xitang Hanfu culture week) as an annual carnival and festival. No matter what people go to work or have classes, some of them ask for leave, some of them come to work as volunteers, and nearly 100 societies participate in the event. Even if the people who promote Hanfu or are keen on Hanfu belong to a minority in terms of the population proportion, this minority will have a common platform. I think it will spread power, and cohesion, consensus, and a sense of belonging will be stronger.

So my biggest feeling is that no matter how difficult it is to hold such an event, no matter how difficult the sponsor is to find or how limited the budget is, we still have to insist on doing it one by one.

Fang Wenshan: We Need the New Style Hanfu to Adapt the Modern Society
Photos of the 7th Xitang Hanfu Culture Week

Q: Have you ever organized similar promotion activities for Hanfu in other regions or overseas? What’s the response?

A: Actually, it’s mainly Taiwan and Malaysia. There are some lectures in Taiwan. I will share my activities in Xitang, show them slides, and then discuss the significance of Hanfu promotion, its origin, and evolution, as well as the change of clothing. The audience is mainly students, especially college students. The response is good.

There are also Tongpao in Malaysia and in Singapore. Their number can’t be compared with that in mainland China. However, there is also a kind of “root seeking” or the original intention of advocating Chinese uniforms overseas, which I think is very rare,
After all, they are in Southeast Asia, which is not the source of Chinese culture, and they can still follow, which is actually quite unforgettable.

Fang Wenshan: We Need the New Style Hanfu to Adapt the Modern Society

Q: At present, it seems that overseas Chinese are still unfamiliar with Hanfu. What is your ideal position in Hanfu in modern society?

A: I think the overseas Chinese clothing movement should highlight regional characteristics. For example, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, even Thailand, and Vietnam can hold activities together. I think we should use regional to promote, not limited to a city or region.

It is certain that overseas are unfamiliar with Hanfu, because after all, Hanfu has been interrupted for more than 360 years. My ideal state should be that the tradition and the Han element clothing are parallel, the Han clothing has the evolution, the clothing will change. For traditional rites, such as adult rites, traditional festivals and Confucius ceremonies, you can wear Hanfu. Because their style is binding and has the meaning of inheriting tradition.

As for the new Hanfu, it adapts to the rhythm of modern society. So I think that the traditional Hanfu should be kept in the traditional festivals and cultural activities, and then some new Hanfu should be developed to keep pace with the pulse and rhythm of this era.

Source: Sydney City Weekly

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