Jiangsu / Business

Suzhou gardens feature abroad, promote Chinese culture

( Updated: 2015-08-06 16:59

Exquisite in design and appealing in sight, more than 40 Suzhou gardens have been created overseas.

With a history spanning thousands of years, the classical gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, have been exported to 30 countries and regions since 1979. Upon the invitation from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Chinese architects carefully designed Ming Xuan, the first Suzhou-style garden to be constructed by professionals abroad.

In a 400-square-meter area, landscape architects artfully simulated nature by skillfully adapting and utilizing basic elements such as water, stones and plants, to create various poetic scenes. From zigzag corridors to delicate rock-works and meticulously arranged waterways, Ming Xuan featured the quintessence of Suzhou gardens in every detail. It has served as a brilliant exhibit in the history of Sino-American cultural exchanges.

The successful example of Ming Xuan soon attracted admirers from countries such as France, Switzeland and Singapore to Suzhou, as they sought opportunities to import aspects of the gardens. According to He Chunfeng, head of Suzhou Institute of Landscape Design, over 40 classic Suzhou gardens have been exported to 30 regions and countries. Among them, Ruisu Garden at the headquarters of the WTO in Geneva, the Yili Garden near the Palace of Versailles in Paris and the Garden of Flowing Fragrance at the Huntington Library in USA are the most notable.

Suzhou Garden Development Co recently received a letter of thanks from the mayor of Santa Lucia city in Malta for their work in developing Jing Yuan "has become the most attractive tourist site and a landmark in Santa Lucia."

Exported Chinese gardens serve as the window for cross-cultural communication.

The classical gardens in Suzhou are masterpieces of Chinese landscape garden design in which art, nature, and humanity are harmouniously integrated to create ensembles of delighting beauty across dynasties. They are in essence the embodiment of traditional Chinese culture.

To ensure the authenticity of Chinese culture is ingrained in gardens of Suzhou, all the components are shipped from China and constructed by skillful Chinese craftsmen in foreign countries. These exported gardens create a new path for culture transmission and serve as a delightful window for culture communication.

Constructed by Suzhou Institute of Landscape Design Co from 1999 to 2000, Lansu Yuan in Portland, US, has attracted more than 20 million tourists in the past 15 years. "Many Portland people get acquainted with Suzhou gardens first and then learn more about Suzhou and China," said Charlie Hales, mayor of Portland.


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