Tencent Next Idea Music Creativity Contest Kicked Off to Create Music for Ten Renowned Paintings in the Palace Museum’s Collection


On July 25th, the 2018 Tencent Next Idea Music Creativity Contest kicked off as the theme song Magnificent Landscape in Painting sung by Jackson Yee, a member of the popular Chinese boy band trio TFBOYS, hit online. The song is jointly created by famous musicians Vincent Fang and Zhang Yadong based on the painting A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains, one of China’s most celebrated works of art treasured by the Palace Museum.

As a part of the Next Idea Creativity Contest, the event is jointly sponsored by the Palace Museum, Tencent Next Idea Creativity Contest and QQ Music on the theme of “Ancient Paintings Can Sing”, with a view to encouraging young people to publicize the cultural connotations in ancient Chinese paintings and carry forward the traditional culture by means of music creativity.

According to Director Shan Jixiang of the Palace Museum, “This is a new attempt at cultural innovation. The Palace Museum joined hands with Tencent to launch the music creativity contest on creating music based on the treasures of famous paintings in the Palace Museum. In such an attempt to integrate paintings, music and technology, we hope to unleash the potential of the creativity among the young people and summon up the strength originating from the traditional culture of our nation. ” 

“The original intention of the Next Idea Creativity Contest is to stimulate the young people’s creativity and make the traditional and classic cultural IP to shine in the digital era. This time, Tencent partnered with the Palace Museum and made a daring breakthrough in the contest to collect music creativities for ten renowned paintings with a history of a thousand years in the Palace Museum’s collection,” noted General Manager Li Hang for Tencent’s marketing and public relations. “Tencent is an Internet-based technology and culture company. With the focus on the integrated development of technology and culture, we’ve been exploring to connect the people with culture by means of technology. By virtue of creative expressions of traditional culture in particular, we hope to bring the charms of the traditional culture to the public in the contemporary era”

This music creativity contest puts emphasis on the cultural implications of ancient paintings and the creativity of the young generation. It’s reported that the Palace Museum has authorized the use of famous paintings in its collection as the source of inspiration for contestants, including A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains, Along the River during the Qingming Festival, Night Revels of Han Xizai, and The Goddess of River Luo. These paintings are from various dynasties, including the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420), Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, and Ming Dynasty, boasting rich cultural implications and superb painting techniques. The Goddess of River Luo, the most ancient famous painting by the celebrated painter Gu Kaizhi from the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420), was produced over 1,600 years ago. The painting A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains was created by the painter Wang Ximeng in the Song Dynasty at the age of 18.  based on this work, Tencent invited famous musicians Vincent Fang and Zhang Yadong to create the theme song Magnificent Landscape in Painting. Featuring the Chinese-style lyrics that Vincent Fang excels at, the song is sung by 18-year-old Jackson Yee to initiate a dialogue of the culture spanning over a thousand years and interpret the traditional paintings in a modern and cross-field manner.

On the theme of the renowned paintings treasured in the Palace Museum, the contestants will create new styles of music rich in the traditional Chinese culture and may receive advices from experts with the Palace Museum and specially invited teachers during the contest. The outstanding works from the contest will be included in the digital music album on the Palace Museum and widely promoted on the platform of the QQ Music.

The Tencent Next Idea established a partnership with the Palace Museum in July 2016. In the first year of cooperation, the Palace Museum opened a series of classical IP for the contest to collect creative designs of “emoticons” and “games” among the young generation. In 2017, together with Tencent Comics, the Next Idea vertical comic contest themed on the Palace Museum was held to promote traditional culture in the form of anime. The classic IP of the Palace Museum has continued to produce creative elements leading to new cultural products after recreation, which created modern values from the traditional culture.

As an Internet-based technology and culture company, Tencent has established platforms in the cultural fields of games, comics, literature, film and television, e-sports, music, among others. An inclusive symbiosis of the neo-culture creativity ecology with IP as the core has taken shape. In addition to explorations in digital culture, Tencent will apply its experience in cultural production and publicity to the field of traditional culture and commit to carry forward, preserve and reinvigorate the classic and traditional cultural IP of the Palace Museum, Dunhuang, the Great Wall, and so on.

In 2018, Vice President Cheng Wu of Tencent upgraded the previous “pan-entertainment” strategy to “neo-culture creativity” strategy, in the hope of deepening cooperation with cultural organizations to establish a new community of cultural and creative collaboration. He believes that “the best way to carry forward the traditional culture is to bring it back to the public, especially the young generation. As for the reinvigoration of traditional culture, Tencent will connect the tradition with the future, the youth with the art, the elites with the public, and the culture with the technology. ” Tencent Next Idea Creativity Contest will be an important carrier to connect the young people with traditional culture.

Tencent Next Idea Creativity Contest was launched by Tencent in 2012, with the aim of tapping, stimulating, nurturing and incubating the imagination and creativity of the young generation, and thus reinvigorating the world cultural heritage with the young people’s creativities. It has now become an incubation platform of the young talents with creativity in ten culture and creativity fields, including games, literature, comics, and films and television.

Tencent Next Idea Creativity Contest cooperated with top-notch cultural heritage organizations and global cultural IP to help the young contestant give full play to their creativity. In June 2018, the contest went overseas for the first time, beginning from Louvre in France. Together with top-notch cultural heritage organizations, including the Great Wall, the Palace Museum, Dunhuang Academy China, Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, and British Museum, Tencent has introduced a dozen of superb cultural IP in preparation for eleven contests on creative designs, music creativity, comic creativity, short videos, original literature, game development, young scriptwriters, young actors, and young directors.