New Yorkers Explore Suzhou-style Gardens at “Breaking Ground: Twenty Years of the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden” Opening Ceremony at Snug Harbor in Staten Island

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The exhibition, sponsored in part by the Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism Administration, celebrates the exquisite beauty of Suzhou’s classical gardens through December 29, 2019 at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in Staten Island

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"The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden epitomizes the authentic, classical Chinese gardens in Suzhou. Our sponsorship offers us a profound opportunity to share the beauty of Suzhou’s gardens, our cultural heritage, and other top tourism attractions with travelers.” - Lincoln Wang, Suzhou Tourism

The Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism Administration (Suzhou Tourism) showcased Suzhou’s rich culture to attendees at the opening ceremony of the visual art exhibition “Breaking Ground: Twenty Years of the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden,” on Saturday, October 19 at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in Staten Island, New York City. As a sponsor of the exhibition, Suzhou Tourism branding will be present throughout its run which concludes on December 29, 2019. “Breaking Ground” explores the cultural impact of the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden (NYCSG), the first authentic classical scholar’s garden erected in the United States.

All of the NYCSG’s architectural components were fabricated in Suzhou including roof and floor tiles, columns and beams, doors and windows, bridges and paving materials, and experts from Suzhou were on-site in Staten Island to oversee the garden’s construction in 1999. “Breaking Ground” brings the fascinating story of this unique space to life through artifacts, photographs, and artwork, featuring work from Robert Bunkin, Michael Falco, Annemarie Trombetta, and Andrea Phillips. Modeled after traditional Ming Dynasty gardens (1368-1644), the garden features a bamboo forest path, waterfalls, a Koi-filled pond, Chinese calligraphy, and a variety of Ghongshi scholar’s rocks.

Suzhou Tourism welcomed attendees to the exhibition and introduced the destination through engaging conversations on its many tourism attractions. A looping video displayed Suzhou’s cultural and scenic high points including its beautifully manicured gardens, winding canals, charming water towns, Kun opera performances, silk culture, modern SIP district, and more. All attendees received a photo-driven informational booklet highlighting the destination’s cultural and tourism assets.

“We are honored to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden at Snug Harbor,” said Lincoln Wang, Director of Foreign Exchange and Cooperation Division at Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism. “Suzhou is called the city of gardens because there are over 100 classic gardens around the city, nine of which have been collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden at Snug Harbor epitomizes the authentic, classical Chinese gardens in Suzhou. Our sponsorship offers us a profound opportunity to share the beauty of Suzhou’s gardens, our cultural heritage, and other top tourism attractions with North American travelers.”

Additional NYCSG-related programming is open to Snug Harbor visitors for the remainder of 2019, including:

  • Calligraphy & Language Workshop: Sun, October 20 | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM | $10
  • Panel Discussion: “Breaking Ground, Building Bridges”: Sat, November 2 | 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM | $10
  • Lantern Making for Families: Sat, November 23 | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM | $10
  • Ink Wash Painting: Sat, December 7 | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM | $10
  • Artist Talk: Robert Bunkin, Under Construction: December 14 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | $10

“The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden endures as a monument to the power of refinement and tradition,” said Aileen Fuchs, President & CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. “A vibrant artistic forum of the highest caliber, Snug Harbor is proud to steward this community centerpiece. The NYCSG simultaneously invites visitors to both engage and escape—to learn from the traditions and lessons of the past, while allowing us to be transported by the wonder and beauty of the space. This garden is an incredible experience with increasingly broader impact as we look to the future, and we are so grateful to partner with Suzhou Tourism to help magnify this rich culture.”

Suzhou Tourism’s sponsorship will continue in spring 2020 with a special photography workshop in the NYCSG featuring Su-style cultural demonstrations. For information on how to plan a trip to Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, visit snug-harbor.org.

The opening ceremony garden event was part of the recently launched #SeenInSuzhou North American marketing campaign which is designed to showcase the destination’s unique culture, heritage, and tourism experiences through visual activations involving social media, public relations, online contests, and consumer events. Travelers can follow the campaign via Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter (@VisitSuzhou) and by using the campaign hashtag #SeenInSuzhou and destination hashtag #TravelSuzhou. For more information on Suzhou, visit TravelToSuzhou.com.

Editor Note: HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD HERE.

About Suzhou
Suzhou, the "Venice of China," is known for its elegant stone bridges, canals, flowing water, and noteworthy architecture. Located in the center of the Yangtze River Delta, approximately 60 miles west of Shanghai, Suzhou is one of the oldest cities in the Yangtze Basin dating back more than 2,500 years. The city boasts the beautifully manicured Classical Gardens of Suzhou, nine of which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each year, millions of tourists travel to Suzhou to experience the destination’s more than 400 attractions, ranging from pagodas and temples to historical districts and world-class museums. As the largest industrial city in China, Suzhou continues to develop, such as the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), which boasts five-star hotels, the iconic Lake Jinji, and China’s largest overwater Ferris wheel.

Travel to Suzhou is easily accessible via three convenient area airports with non-stop flights from North America: Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) offers bullet train service to Suzhou, which is approximately a 50-mile, 30-minute trip; Pudong International Airport (PVG) is approximately 65 miles from Suzhou, an hour and half drive; and Sunan Shuofang International Airport (WUX) is approximately 14 miles from Suzhou, a 30-minute drive.

For more information on Suzhou, please visit http://www.TravelToSuzhou.com.

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