Published 9 June 2015

New campaign promotes “green collecting”

Beijing, China, 9th June 2015—TRAFFIC last month launched a “green collecting” campaign at the 6th China Art Handicrafts Expo hosted by Wen Wan Tian Xia. The campaign calls on collectors to seek out artwork made from green and sustainably sourced materials, items “Having cultural value without reputational cost.”

"Green collecting" is being promoted as a means to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products

Twenty-two craftsmen took part in a live demonstration of nut, crystal and amber carving at the Expo, led by Zhe School master craftsman Liu Xiangqian and his “Small Furnace Art Studio” team. 

Mr Liu used the opportunity to create artwork on the theme of “Co-existence between people and wild animals” and spoke about the use of different materials in art. 

“China has a rich heritage of collecting, and today’s collectors should focus on the intrinsic artistic and cultural value of the artwork and not the material from which it is derived,” said Mr Liu. 

“Ivory is only one medium—artistic carving and its place in traditional culture can be inherited in many ways.

“We would rather leave wildlife to co-exist with our descendants than leave our descendants with evidence of wildlife killing.” 

Mr Liu was awarded a “Public Welfare and Social Responsibility Advocate Pioneer” certificate by TRAFFIC’s Behaviour Change Programme Manager Mr Zhang Sheng in recognition of his efforts and those of the Small Furnace Art Studio in protecting threatened wildlife species through encouraging green-collecting practices. 

“The survival of many endangered wild species has been seriously threatened by growing consumer demand for and illegal trade in their products,” said Mr Zhang. “TRAFFIC encourages green collecting, whereby collectors pay close attention to the cultural value of artwork, but avoid those items that would cause reputational damage.” 

Mr Gou Sen, Operations Manager for Wen Wan Tian Xia said: “As the leading collectibles company, we are aware of our corporate social responsibility and actively support ‘green collecting’, which we hope to see widely adopted by industry insiders and collectors, alongside a refusal to consume illegal wildlife products.” 

At the Expo, TRAFFIC spoke about the benefits of green collecting, while a photographic album of Liu Xiangqian’s nut carvings was distributed through social media platforms. 

TRAFFIC’s collaboration with master craftsmen aims to sustain the traditional Chinese culture of artwork collecting, while leading collectors towards a preference for items made from sustainably-sourced materials.