Suzhou, a city of 2500 years, has been exploring its history constantly. Its culture is like running water, gently coming from all directions and converging into one place - Suzhou Museum.
The typical sceneries of Suzhou have been revealed in Tang dynasty poems and Song dynasty paintings since Sui and Tang dynasty. The crafts were sold overseas, and the heritage was not cut off after thousands of years. Despite hardships, the well-known jade carving, wood carving, pit Carving, bamboo carving, tapestry, embroidery, brocade, fan making, brick making, clay sculpture, jewelry decoration, lacquer carving, woodblock printing for Chinese New Year etc., have been inherited and carried forward.
The globalization and urbanization sweeps across every corner of the world after the rising of industrialization, which makes the traditional handicrafts skill tested by both of the inner heritage and influence from the outside environments. The traditional handicrafts can give people a sense of belonging and cultural identity. The pursuits for handicraft skill make us connected closely to history as well as the old way of living and appreciation of beauty. The handicraft is unique, like an ideal shelter in people’s quick-paced lives nowadays.
Handicraft is an attitude. Skill is becoming mature as time passes by.
Handicraft is an identity. It is becoming unique with its own distinctive character.
Handicraft is a kind of mental. It can only express its exquisiteness by perseverance.
How does handicraft earn its new vitality and splendor by our young artists? How does it become a part of modern life and how does it make tradition an important element of evolution? We are waiting for the answer of the future.
We display young artists’ works in our historical Nan Mu Hall in Zhong Wang Fu. To let them immerse in old times is also our effort to blend the past and the present. The intermingle of tradition and future will surely be demonstrated in Suzhou Museum perfectly. We look very much forward to seeing it.
The above serve as a preface.
Director of Suzhou Museum