1. Creative China must find its ownPath

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Creative China must find its own Path
Justin 0'Connor

It is commonly said that China needs to ‘catch-up’ with `the west' or the `developed world'. This phrase implies a singular path; there may be short cuts and `late-comer advantages' but the destination 一 a modern, developed country 一 is the same. But just when it seems China is within touching distance, the `developed world' changes the definition of what it is to be `developed' and puts more obstacles in the path of those trying to catch-up. In English we call this `moving the goal-posts'. After manufacturing, services and high-technology seemed to present clear goals for China, the cultural creative industries arrive as the new `value-added' product and service sector, posing yet more problems for the country's policy-makers. Many in the West have argued that China will take a long time to catch-up in these areas and that this provides a new source of competitive advantage to the West. Indeed, for some, the absence of a competitive cultural creative industries sector is evidence that China is not, and maybe can never be, fully `developed'.

Much of this can be dismissed as another example of the West's superiority complex; however, there can be no doubt that the cultural creative industries present great possibilities but also great challenges for China. These industries 一 from visual and performing arts, to recorded music, film and TV, to digital animation and new media services, through to fashion, design and architecture 一 are highly creative and innovative products and services, relying on complex flows of knowledge and intellectual property. They are also cultural or symbolic products that reflect and influence our pleasures and ambitions, and our individual and collective sense of meaning and identity. For these reasons all nations have sought to protect and develop their own national culture and traditions by investing in cultural infrastructure and expertise. In the second half of the twentieth century this was expanded beyond `the arts,一 galleries,

museums, opera houses, universities, arts schools, journals etc. 一 to include broadcast media, film, publishing and recorded music. In the last 20 years the emphasis has shifted from building economic infrastructures for reasons of national cultural identity to mobilizing culture and creativity for reasons of economic development.

The cultural creative industries are now strongly linked with the knowledge economy, which emphasizes high levels of research, knowledge transfer and, above all, innovation. In the West artists or `cultural producers' have long been associated with dynamic, often unpredictable creative innovation. Now the innovative capacity of the cultural industries is extended to a new range of creative products and services and is also seen as a catalyst for innovation right across the economy. In China this agenda has also meant moving beyond the idea of a better industrialization or marketisation of existing cultural products towards a more systematic approach to the idea of cultural and creative innovation and its wider economic impacts. This demands the ability to anticipate new products and services, finding new audiences, differentiating rather than imitating what already sells. It requires new kinds of `soft skills' that are hard to acquire as they are often`tacit', demanding experience rather than formal education (though this is also necessary). It demands understanding different models of production, complex value chains and the interaction between cultural, creative and business skills. In the last few years the central driving force behind cultural and creative industries policies has been the idea of `cluster'. Starting from a few isolated examples in Beijing, Shanghai and other smaller coastal cities the concept has now become a central policy platform. Cultural and creative clusters exist in the West, though these terms cover extremely diverse developments. There are some good reasons why China would choose this policy platform above others. In many large cities experiencing de-industrialisation there are empty factories that seem ripe for this kind of development. The model of concentration to facilitate rapid development also fits well with China's history of collectivization and more recently its development of high-tech and other R&D parks. Clusters are also attractive to policy makers because they are highly visible 一 successful ones give publicity to them and the city. At the same time they offer clear and concrete steps to support a sector that is very new and not very well understood. However, there are some real problems to be overcome if these clusters are to deliver what is expected of them.

Many clusters emerged organically, with artists looking for cheap workspace; but in China, as in the West, they soon drew attention from property developers. The first big problem faced by clusters is that cultural and creative producers raise the profile of a place and this is very quickly translated into rent rises, typically driving out the first occupants. This is a complex problem, but my main point would be that policy cannot be driven by the dynamics of real estate. Some have said that if creative industries are seconomically important we should let the market decide. There is some truth in this; it is very easy to subsidise bad artists and creative producers. However, the dynamics of real estate markets and the creative economy are very different, especially at the early stages. Cultural profile can raise rents much

more rapidly than with other kinds of occupancy, often from a low base, and can provide good profit. But these rent rises are often too fast for a slowly emerging sector, which is not just to be seen as individual companies but as a complex emerging `creative ecology'. The real estate market measures `good' or `bad' creative by their ability to pay the rent, not on their long-term effect on innovation. There are easy measures for real estate success 一 higher rent yield 一 but how are we measuring the innovative capacity of the local economy? In general, local governments should not give tax breaks to real estate companies and then allow them to apply pure market rules to rents. More subtle intelligence and policy instruments are needed if government is find a productive balance in this area.

Clusters are often conceived as places for the `industrialization' of cultural products 一 that is, mass production and marketing. The need for innovation is forgotten in the process. There are many visual art clusters that are very much like factories, reproducing extremely outdated products for the lowest end of the art market. This might provide jobs in the short term but simply confirms China as the world's low value producer. Similar things could be said about traditional crafts, which are extremely repetitive and are usually only protected by inter-provincial tariffs. These products might inflate the statistics 一 according to one report China is third largest exporter of cultural products 一 but they are very misleading; most of the products counted do little to enhance the innovation capacity of the cultural creative sector.

Better understanding and governance of clusters is necessary. Clusters deliver benefits for many but not the entire cultural creative sector. Computer games, for example, does not benefit from clusters because more or less everything is produced in-house in great secrecy. They go to clusters because of tax and rent subsidies, not to be in proximity to others. Visual artists benefit from cheaper rents, the reputation of a `cool' place and from space to work in quiet; they do not necessarily engage in intensive networking and knowledge transfer. Other project based industries, such as new media, want the networking possibilities provided by clusters, what economists called `untraced interdependencies'. There are thus different requirements for the different branches, and both the mix of companies and the quality of the space need to be carefully understood.

There is real scope for informed government policy here. In general they should look to raise the quality of production as well as developing new audiences and markets. Clusters can have a role in this, but they have to form part of a wider policy strategy. For example, universities are vital to building new human capital 一 they have to be encouraged to look to creative skills not just teaching from established models,.Local television stations can be encouraged to pay more for high quality content 一 at the moment the purchase is a one size fits all approach which often pays the worst and the best exactly the same. The design of urban spaces can be enhanced to support the city as a `creative milieu'. More directly, the cultural creative industries need new creative attitudes and mentalities that take some time to come through; they also demand a range of `soft skills' associated with project management, brand

development and marketing which have to be learned `on the job'. But they find it hard to learn these skills when they are mostly delivering services at the lowest part of the value chain, where innovation effects and intellectual property go abroad. Talent is wasted in servicing when it should be focused on developing original content. Local governments have to realize that though the cultural creative industries have strong economic benefits they are also about quality 一 high values which demand the long term view not the quick return of the `bottom line'. This push for high quality and higher levels of innovation is something that demands a more holistic approach to policy; and clusters can play a crucial role in this.

Rather than be seen as convenient containers for cultural creative producers they need to become focal points for targeted development. Universities and art schools need to be more involved. As do their cultural creative industry research centres. Real knowledge transfer can be encouraged and facilitated by intelligent cluster managers. The skills to run a cluster are just emerging and there are some good exemplars 一 but much of it is just real estate management as in any other sector and this is a wasted opportunity. Networking events, joint marketing, seminars with foreign companies, spaces and occasions for experimentation, a carefully managed programme for the general public (too much tourism can destroy a cluster, as in Tianzi fang in Shanghai), intelligent links to other clusters and larger creative companies 一 all these demand specific skills to deliver. These skills also should be disseminated and improved across between the clusters. China does need to look to foreign experts and models; but it has also shown time and again that it can also find its own way, and in ways that have astonished outsiders. It can do this with the cultural creative industries but it has to look long term, beyond immediate economic gain (including rent increases) to the long-term creative and innovative capacity of the country. It has to recognize that it is catching up at a time when western creative industry corporations are more global than ever, looking to penetrate local Chinese markets just when the country is trying to develop its own creative sector. This presents a real challenge, but I would say that rather than try and use policy tools derived from the West, China should look to its own traditions and strengths. I do not just mean its traditional culture in terms of calligraphy or opera or ink painting; I mean its resources for social and economic development that uses, but is not subservient to, the `free' market. In fact the UK, closely associated with the creative industries agenda, has very little capacity to deliver industry support, relying on demands that people be more `entrepreneurial' rather than deliver systematic and intelligent sectoral strategy. This is why it has let a 250-year-old world famous ceramics company 一 Wedgewood 一 go bankrupt. China has some things to learn from the UK, but its deep resources of intelligent and pragmatic policy will be ultimately decisive. Most important, policy makers should not loose sight of the importance of culture for collective meaning and identity. This is much more diverse, fluid and open to new influences, and the Chinese government has increasingly stood back from direct intervention. In the search for the new economic benefits of the cultural creative industries their deeper cultural contexts should not be neglected.

译文: 译文:

Justin 0'Connor 贾斯丁 奥·康纳
人们总是说中国需要赶超西方或发达国家,这似乎意味着是唯一的道路。这 条路上也许会有捷径,也许会是后来者居上,但目标是相同的,即成为一个现代 化的发达国家。然而在中国不断缩短与这些发达国家之间的差距时,他们也在改 变着“发达”的定义,并且为其设置了种种障碍。在英语中我们称之为“不停地 移动球门柱”。在继制造业,服务业,高新技术成为中国明确的目标之后,作为 具有新“附加值”产品和服务的文化创意产业成了中国政府的又一个难题。很多 西方国家认为中国需要很长时间才可以在这个领域迎头赶上, 这对西方国家来说 过无疑又是一项新的竞争优势。确实如此,从某种程度上说这也是个也很有力的 证据,它证明了中国还不是或者永远不可能是真正意义上的发达国家。 不可否认这是西方发达国家综合优势的又一个例子,同样,对中国来说文化 创意产业既大有作为又充满了挑战。 这些产业从视觉表演艺术到音乐制作, 影视, 动漫和新型媒体服务,贯穿于时尚,设计和建筑等多个方面。它需要高度创新, 提供创新的产品和服务,也依赖复杂的知识结构和知识产权保护。这些产品和服 务影响我们个人和集体的民族文化识别,正因如此,所有的国家都通过投资文化 基础设施和专业人才来保护和发展自己的民族传统文化。二十世纪的后半叶,这 个领域从艺术,画廊,博物馆,剧院,大学,艺术学校和期刊扩展到了广播媒体, 电影,出版社和音乐制作。最近的二十年,人们关注的重点也从为民族文化品牌 构建经济基础转移到为经济发展而调动文化和创新能力。 文化创意产业和注重高水平研究及知识的转化尤其是创新能力的知识经济 有着紧密的联系。在西方国家中,文化产业者一直被认为是有着史无前例的无限 创意能力的人。 现在能够开发一系列创新的产品和服务的创新能力已成为经济发 展的重要催化剂。 在中国创意产业也从现有文化产品的产业化和市场化概念发展 到了文化创新能力和其对市场的广泛影响。这需要预测产品和服务,寻求潜在客 户,细化市场而不是模仿现成产品的能力。文化创意产业需要的软实力,因其较 为隐蔽而不易被掌握。它需要的是实践经验而不是常规的教育(虽然这也是必须 的)。创意文化产业需要理解不同类型的产品,复杂的价值链条,不同文化之间 的交流互动,以及创新能力和商业技巧。最近几年推进创意产业的核心政策就是 创意产业园的概念。通过京沪以及其他较小的沿海城市为数不多的例子,这个概 念已经发展成了一个核心的政策平台。 西方的文化创意产业园区涵盖了极为广泛 的发展方向,这也是中国政府优先考虑这一产业政策的原因。很多“去工业化” 的大城市具有适合这种发展模式的空旷厂房和车间。 这种集中化规模化以便于发 展的模式和中国历史上的发展模式以及它最近发展高科技和高新技术园区的方

式一脉相承。当然,文化创意产业对政府官员也很有吸引力,因为它们政绩效用 很明显,一目了然。成功的创意园区可以为他们和城市提供很好的公共空间。与 此同时,它们也为这个很新颖但不易理解的领域提供了清晰的发展步骤。然而, 如果创意产业园区想要不负重望,他们还有很多问题亟待解决。 由于艺术家们往往寻求相对经济廉价的工作场所, 很多创意产业园区都是有 组织的形成的。但是和西方国家一样,它们会迅速的吸引房地产公司的注意。创 意园区提升了所在地区的形象,导致了租金的迅速上涨,这是它们遇到的首要问 题,典型的“鹊巢鸠占”。这个问题很复杂,主要是产业政策不能被房地产商的 利益所驱动。有人会说,既然创意园区的经济效益这么好,那就让市场经济来决 定吧。 这是不可忽略的事实, 我们很容易去救济经济窘迫的艺术家和创意工作者, 但是地产商的利益和创意经济是两码事,尤其是在初级阶段。文化创意的形象可 以比其他占有者更快的提高租金, 通常的情况亦以较低的成本就可以获得不错的 利润。但是对于一个发展相对缓慢的产业,租金涨得也太快了。创意产业园不应 该被看作是个别企业,而应当是一个正在发展的创意文化生态环境。房地产公司 仅凭它们付租金的能力来判断创意产业的好坏而不是它们对创新的长期影响力。 评价房产公司的成功与否很容易,只要一看房价就明明白白了。但是我们怎么评 价一个地区经济的创新能力呢?实际上, 当地的政府不应该给房产公司相应的减 免税优惠政策,而让市场规律来决定租金。如果想要在这方面找到很有效益的平 衡,那就的依靠更多具体而明智的政策和规范。 创意园区往往被人们误认为是文化产品工业化的地方, 这里有大量的产品和 市场。在这样的过程中创意的需求被忽略了。有很多视觉艺术的产业园区很像一 个工厂,为艺术市场生产大量过时的产品。这在短时间内可以提供很多的工作岗 位,但这只是简单的证明了这样一个事实:中国是全球低价值产品的制造者。类 似的情况还有受政府税收政策保护而重复生产的传统手工艺品。 这些产品有可能 夸大一些统计数据。据报道称,中国已经成为世界第三大文化产品出口国。但是 它们很具有误导性,因为大多数的产品对提高文化创意产业的创新能力毫无用 处。 进一步的了解和管理创意园区是十分必要的。 文化创意产业园区可以提供了 许多益处,而不是仅限于产业自身。例如几乎所有的产品都是在很工作室中秘密 制作完成的电脑游戏公司并不从产业园区直接受益, 它们去创意园区可不是套什 么近乎,而是因为税收和租金的补贴。视觉艺术家们也从便宜的租金,很酷的名 声和安静的工作环境受益, 他们没有必要参与到这种集中接触和知识转化的环境 中来。 基于工业化的其他工程项目, 比如说新媒体, 需要与创意园区可能的接触, 经济学家称之为无意的相互耦合。每个企业都各有所需,不同企业的混合以及整 个空间的质量都应该好好的考虑一下。 相关细致的政府政策还很缺乏,实际上,在开发市场和潜在客户的时候也需 要提高产品的质量。创意园区可以发挥自己的重要角色,但是这需要形成一个更 为广泛的战略政策。比如说大学对培养人力资源至关重要,它们应该寻求新颖的 创造性技巧而不是用现成的案例展开教学。 本地电视台也可以多关注一下和优秀 产品质量相关的内容。城市空间的规划也也该为构建创新型城市提供必要的支 持。再直接一些,文化创意产业也离不开一个需要较长时间培养的新型的创造态 度和创新心态。创意园区还需要一系列和相关的软实力:项目管理,品牌发展, 市场化操作,而这些只有在工作中才能够学到。但是当它们只提供位于价值链低 端的,创新效应和知识产权都属于国外的服务时,它们发现很难学到这些技巧,

本该集中精力发展原创内容的人才和精力却浪费在提供服务上面。 当地的政府也 必须意识到虽然文化创意产业具有很强的经济效益,但它们也关乎质量。这些需 要相当长时间才可以实现的高价值可不能急功近利,只盯着成本。对高质量高水 平创新能力的推动也需要一个更加宏观的整体研究来制定相关的政策, 创意园区 在这个过程中可以发挥重要的作用。 文化创意产业园应该成为整个行业发展目标的核心而不是文化创意产业便 利的收容所。大学和艺术学校也应该参与到这中间来。当他们运行自己的文化创 意产业研究中心时,优秀的园区管理者可以鼓励和促进真正的知识转化。运作创 意园区的技巧正在不断的涌现,其中也不乏有好的案例,但大多数像其他行业一 样只是地产开发商管理的那一套, 这真是浪费大好的机会。 人际关系, 市场联合, 参与国外公司的培训,实践的空间和机会,细致公共空间项目管理(太多的参观 者很能毁掉一个创意园,像上海的田子坊那样),和其他园区和大型创意公司巧 妙的合作等等,所有这些都需要专业的技能来操作,这些能力应该在不同创意园 区之间不断的交流和提高。中国确实有必要借鉴外国专业和模式,但它也有展现 自己的时候, 甚至是它可以找到适合自己的道路, 用自己的方式给外界一个惊喜。 中国可以通过创意园区来实现它,但必须要有更长远的眼光,超越眼前的短期利 益(包括租金上涨)而关注长期的创新和整个国家的创新能力。我们得认识到在 中国奋起直追的同时那些不断全球化的西方创意公司正在不断地渗入并占有中 国的市场。这是一个挑战,但我想说的是与其照搬那些外国的经济政策,中国还 不如审视自己的传统文化和自身的优势。我不是简单的说那些像书法,京剧,水 墨画之类的传统文化,而是中国经济和社会发展所依赖的资源,但这又不能忽略 “自由”的市场。在不乏创意产业的英国,他们依赖人们强劲的创业精神而不是 系统有效的行业发展战略,几乎没有为产业提供支持的能力。这也是拥有 250 年历史的全球闻名伟奇伍德陶器公司最终破产的原因。 中国可以从英国学到一些 东西,但是它优秀的资源和实际的政策还是得靠自己来取舍。最重要的是,政策 的制定者不能忽视文化的民族认同感。这样就对新的影响就更加的多元,灵活和 开放,而且中国政府已经逐渐开始放松对其的直接干预。总之,在研究文化创意 产业的过程中,我们不能忽视它背后更深层次的文化背景。



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