To be explored soon…
The Suzhou Museum is a museum of ancient Chinese art, ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy, and handmade crafts, situated in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. Admission is free. It is one of the most visited museums in the world, with 2,340,000 visitors in 2018. The Folk Branch of Suzhou Museum is located in the Bei family ancestral temple near Lion Grove Garden.
1960: Museum founded and first open to the public in the former residence of the Zhong Prince of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.
2006: The current building designed by Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei inaugurated.
The current building of Suzhou Museum was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei in association with Pei Partnership Architects. The structural engineer for this project was Leslie E. Robertson Associates. Construction of this building started in 2002. It was inaugurated on October 6, 2006.
The design of the new part of Suzhou Museum house combines traditional Suzhou architectural style and places the museum between the courtyards to harmonize the building with its surrounding environment. The museum’s central courtyard is an extension of the northern garden’s architectural style and a modern interpretation. New museum courtyards, smaller exhibition areas, and administrative areas of the yard in the landscaping design get rid of the traditional landscape design ideas.
The new design idea is to find a new direction and theme for each garden and to extract the essence of conventional landscape design and form the future development direction of Chinese garden architecture. While white powder walls will be the leading tone of the new museum building to blend the building with the traditional urban mechanics of Suzhou, the ubiquitous, stereotypical grey tile slopings and window frames will be replaced by grey granite in the pursuit of better uniform colors and textures.
The design of the roof of the museum is inspired by the traditional sloping roof landscape of Suzhou. However, the new roof has been reinterpreted and evolved into a new geometric effect. The glass and stone roof construction system is derived from the traditional roof system, and the old wooden beam and rafters frame system will be replaced by the modern open steel structure, wood and paint ceiling system. Metal sunshades and nostalgic woodwork frames will be widely used under glass roofs to control and filter the sun’s rays entering the exhibition area. Its architecture and innovative horticulture depend on each other.
The museum has a display area of 2,200 square meters. It has more than 15,000 pieces in its collections. Most are ancient paintings and calligraphy, ceramics, crafts, unearthed relics and revolution relics. It also possesses more than 70,000 books and documents, and over 20,000 rubbings of stone inscriptions. The collection of paintings and calligraphy includes works of masters from Song Dynasty to Ming and Qing dynasties.
Wu Paintings and Calligraphy Hall
In Ming Dynasty, over 150 famous painters lived in Suzhou. They formed a well-known Wu School in history. in the mid-Ming Dynasty. Shen Zhou, Wen Zhengming, Tang Yin and Qiu Ying with their original painting style and excellent art achievement, earned the great reputation in the painting circle. They are called Four Masters of Wu School in the painting history.
Wu Elegance Hall
In the collective memory of literati from Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Suzhou occupies as irreplaceable rank of history and culture because Suzhou is a fertile land on the south bank of Yangtze River with vast and gorgeous landscape as well as fine natural conditions and social customs, a humanism gathering place for local civilizations and regulations as well as numerous talents, and a prosperous metropolis full of elegance.
Acting as the center of Wu Region (12 Century – 473 BC), Suzhou has been shining like a resplendent pearl inlaid into the vast land on the south bank of Yangtze River. 10,000 years ago, human footprints in Sanshan Island (50 kilometers from Suzhou) kicked off local history of mankind. 2,500 years ago, establishment as capital of Wu State (514 BC) set off in the pursuit of urban civilization of Suzhou.
Wu Pagodas Hall
“National Treasures in Famous Wu Pagodas” prominently exhibit Buddhism relics found in Yunyan Temple Pagoda on top of Tiger Hill and Ruiguang Temple Pagoda near Panmen Gate, both regarded as symbols of Suzhou. These relics are exhibited in two sections facing each other on south and north, namely “Buddhism Relics from Yunyan Temple Pagoda on top of Tiger Hill where treasure were found” and Buddhism Relics from Ruiguang Temple Pagoda where auspicious rays are glistening”.
Source: Official Website