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May 26, 2020

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Iconic flavors and history of Suzhou coming to Shanghai

While most people are still vacationing close to home during the pandemic, the new Suzhou Museum has brought its iconic garden, pavilion and rockery to Shanghai.

Young artists have been invited to interpret traditional Chinese culture in a modern way and display their understandings through art installations in the Century Link Mall in the Pudong New Area. The exhibition will run through June 14.

The new Suzhou Museum was designed by world-renowned architect I. M. Pei who spent his childhood in the Lion Grove Garden, one of Suzhou’s most famous gardens, which his family used to own. Inspired by his childhood, he designed the museum as an exquisite classical Chinese garden.

Pei also designed the iconic Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris.

Artist Tango designed a miniature museum hidden in a giant box for this exhibition, and visitors can only see it through viewing holes.

Architect Hou Zhi built a glass maze inspired by the unique features of Chinese gardens in which people can see different scenery at every turn.

One of the most popular photo spots in the museum is a wisteria area planned by Chinese poet, painter and calligrapher Wen Zhengming during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). So, a pavilion with purple wisteria has been created in the mall too.

New technologies are also used to add a modern touch.

There’s a giant screen featuring a famous painting by Qiu Ying, a master of the detailed gongbi brush technique, which captures the daily life of the people and landscapes of Suzhou during in the Ming Dynasty.

Visitors can scan a QR code to add their face to a figure in the painting.

A pop-up fair has been set up as well, where people can buy the museum’s souvenirs, sample Suzhou snacks and experience intangible cultural heritage such as Yao embroidery.


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