In 2010, Professor Huang and others pointed out in the article Tentative Ideas and Discussions on Third Pole Culture published in Arts Criticism that Third Pole Culture is primarily a strategic development idea proposed according to the current world cultural pattern. She believes that the current world cultural pattern can be roughly divided into the three poles of European, American and Chinese cultures, and acknowledges that there is an imbalance in the development of world culture, and that there are aggressive and passive cultures. The use of “Third Pole” to refer to “Chinese culture” is not a plain ranking of numbers, nor a representation of hierarchical difference. It comes from the “South Pole,” “North Pole” and “Third Pole” in the science of physical geography. Third Pole refers to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the highest pole of the world. It represents all irreplaceable and unique cultural types in the multicultural world. At the same time, Chinese culture has become an important pole in this multicultural landscape because of its independence, longevity and strong vitality, and could become another cultural force with extensive global influence besides European culture and American culture. Professor Huang Huilin believes that China’s 5000-year-old civilization, its long and striving history of modern revolution, and the ever-developing process of the PRC’s transformation constitute the basis for the establishment of Third Pole Culture. Huang also put forward the initial facets of Third Pole Culture from the three perspectives of cultural soft power, fine traditional culture and film culture.
Afterwards, Professor Huang continued to enrich and improve the idea of Third Pole Culture through several articles. For example, in terms of the basis and necessity of the establishment of Third Pole Culture, Huang believes that Third Pole Culture represents an academic endeavor in the reflection on Eastern and Western cultures, the development of Chinese culture in the transition period, and the pursuit of cultural awareness and cultural confidence. In a background of economic globalization, Chinese culture, which has a long history of 5000 years and rich cultural heritage, has encountered a strong impact from foreign cultures. The dissemination of Chinese culture is extremely incommensurate with the development of China’s economy. The export of Chinese culture is relatively falling behind, and the spread of Chinese and foreign cultures is very unbalanced, causing the contemporary Chinese to have a weak spirit. Therefore, China needs to maintain its cultural focus, stick to a clear national awareness, strengthen cultural confidence, and strive for a say in cultural exchanges so that Chinese culture is recognized and respected around the world. Professor Huang mentioned that there have been three man-made changes in world history. The first is the industrial revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the main solution to problems was war. This is the “era of fist.” The second is the information revolution of the twentieth century, an era marked by rapid development of knowledge and continuous globalization. This is the “era of intelligence.” The third is the cultural revolution since the twenty-first century, in which mankind needs to gather all their wisdom to deal with common crises. This is the “era of mind.” Huang believes that these historical changes are also an important background for proposing the Third Pole Culture. In the current common crises brought to mankind by the global pandemic, the foresight of this theoretical judgment has been verified to a certain extent.
Professor Huang has made continuous efforts to enrich, deepen and refine the basic facets of Third Pole Culture on the basis of the three facets in the early stage. She believes that Third Pole Culture is rooted in China’s thousands of years of civilization and tradition, and that it is also a culture that keeps pace with the times. The concept advocates cultural diversity, and puts special emphasis on practicing creation with the concept of “harmony” in mind. She points out that the Third Pole Culture has two basic meanings. The first is to further sort out, summarize, inherit and develop the most prominent, characteristic and representative content within the Chinese culture itself. The second is to put the Chinese culture in the context of global cultures on that basis, so that the Chinese culture can interact with and learn from other cultures to form a diverse cultural landscape. Professor Huang attaches great importance to traditional Chinese culture. She has summarized the core values and national spirit contained in traditional Chinese culture. For example, traditional Chinese culture respects and safeguards the value of man, and considers man to be the most precious; it holds that righteousness is the noblest character in a gentleman, which deals with man’s moral feelings and awareness; it emphasizes that individuals are morally obligated to serve the society, the country and the nation; it advocates harmony-oriented perspectives on the world, life and the universe. She continuously draws nourishment from traditional culture, advocates that “an educated gentleman must be resolute and broad-minded, for he has taken on a long and arduous task,” and clarifies that Third Pole Culture aims to rebuild cultural confidence and pursues cultural transcending by understanding and learning from other cultures. The significance of these explanations is that they underline that Third Pole Culture adopts a dialectical attitude of “sublation” and inheritance towards traditional culture, and that it expresses the almost intuitive idea of subjectivity on the communication between Chinese and foreign cultures, which is clearer in the later development of ideas.
When working in film and television education and conducting academic research, Professor Huang has always valued the unity of knowledge and action, as well as the combination of theory and practice. It can be said that at the very core of her educational ideas is that knowledge must be used to benefit the governance of a country in a practical way. This is also a highlight in her academic ideas. Therefore, while enriching the theory, Professor Huang has also had many discussions about the ways to realize Third Pole Culture. For example, as early as 2010, she proposed a basic approach consisting of four steps: first, further clarify Third Pole Culture regarding its facets, its theoretical and practical significance through academic research; second, generate artistic works that fully reflect the characteristics of Third Pole Culture through a large amount of original artistic creation; third, make full use of various means to create cultural symbols and actively carry out culture-related dissemination; fourth, integrate different resources and mobilize all sectors of society to get involved. Professor Huang does not limit her research to theorizing in articles, she also tries out different methods in practice, and has achieved excellent dissemination effects and promotion experiences in many respects. For example, in terms of resource integration, on November 19, 2010, Beijing Normal University and the International Data Group (IDG) jointly established the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture, which focuses closely on Third Pole Culture-related theoretical research, talents training, film and television creation, international exchanges and other respects. In terms of culture dissemination, the “Looking Beijing Summer DV Project 2011” was launched. In terms of academic research, the questionnaire survey on the “International Influence of Chinese Films,” the publication of the Silver Book: The Annual Report on the International Communication of Chinese Films, international forums, etc. have been organized. These annual events mark the most distinctive feature of Third Pole Culture: it has integrated knowledge and action from the very beginning, and has always adhered to the idea that theoretical research and practical activities should promote and complement each other.
The past ten years have witnessed the deeper-level development of Third Pole Culture, as reflected in a range of research on, for example, the core value and contemporary significance of traditional Chinese culture, the role of Chinese culture in the world in a new era, Third Pole Culture and Marxism, cultural diversity and the community with a shared future for mankind, the subjectivity of Chinese culture in world civilization, and research around “The Generation of International Influence of Contemporary Chinese Culture,” a major project of the National Social Science Fund of China. At the same time, there is also a horizontal expansion of the research scope. According to the essence of the theory, a series of extended research has been carried out in the areas of film, art, animation, aesthetics, etc. Among them, the “Third Pole Film Culture” is one of the initial facets of Third Pole Culture and also an area where Third Pole Culture-related theoretical research and practice are relatively well-developed.