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By using their own wisdom and diligence, ancestors of Suzhou created a splendid Wu Culture in Craftsmanship, Music, Calligraphy and Painting, Sing-and-Dance Performing Arts and Distinctive Culture within a history of more than 2500 years.

Wu Craftsmanship
The origin of arts and crafts in Wu can be tracked back to the Stone Age. The technology and production is more and more skillful with the development of economy and culture. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Suzhou got fast development in economy and culture; as a result, the arts and crafts were also got into a golden era, with lots of great masters and handicraft production emerged. Handicraft production, both for daily use and arts collection, were in a very high level of skill. Today, there are more than 40 professional research institutions and manufacturers with more than 10 thousand employees in Suzhou.
Featured in local style, arts and crafts, especially Su Embroidery, Su Fans, Su-style mahogany furniture, Su-style mounting, Su-style lamps and lanterns, in Suzhou had its own characteristics and got famous around the world. Su-style Silk Tapestry and Taohuawu New Year Woodblock Prints are solitary in the country. Production of the arts and crafts had greatly promoted the culture and trade of Suzhou.

Music in Wu
Suzhou has abundant heritages in the field of music. As an important part of Wu Culture, music in Suzhou had already become a local symbol more than 2,000 years ago. Among the unearthed cultural relics, the earliest ancient musical instrument which was excavated within Suzhou area is a bone whistle of Neolithic Age. The Chime-bells, copper drum and ancient Chinese harp of the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period were found. More and more musical instruments of Southern and Northern Dynasties or later were also found in Suzhou.
Music in Suzhou grows vigorously and forms diversified styles, for example, the Boat Songs of Shantang Canal, the Kunqu Rendezvous held in Tiger Hill during the Mid-Autumn Festivals, etc. Every kind of music is favored by all over the county, which made Suzhou gradually form its own special musical features. On the basis of developed metallurgical technology and craftsmanship, Suzhou’s musical instrument industry developed rapidly. Suzhou became the best known region for numerous production of musical instruments since the Ming Dynasty.
At present, the existing styles of folk instrumental music are South Yangzi String and Pipe Ensemble, Multi-repetitious Wind and Percussion Ensemble, Multi-repetitious Gong-drum Ensemble, Taoist music, Buddhist music and Taoist music, etc.

Wu Calligraphy and Painting
Wu Calligraphy and Painting has a long history, with famous artists came forth in large numbers. Lu Tanwei of Liu-Song Dynasty (420-479) and Zhang Sengyao of Xiao-Liang Dynasty(502-557)were good at figure painting, featured in merging calligraphy into paintings. During the Tang and Song Dynasties, development of painting continued in Suzhou, and Zhang Zao was an outstanding representative. During the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the literati painting of landscape were very popular. “4 Greats of Ming”, Shen Zhou, Tang Yin, Wen Zhengming and Qiu Ying of Ming Dynasty, were the representatives and achieved the leadership of the Wu School of painting, affecting the painting styles for more than 400 years of Ming and Qing Dynasties. “Early Qing Dynasty 4 Wangs”, Wang Shimin, Wang Jian, Wang Hui, Wang Yuan Qi, formed “Yushan faction” and “Lou Dong faction”, which produced profound and far-reaching effects in China.
After the liberation in 1949, with the establishment of Suzhou Academy of Traditional Chinese painting, Wu paintings carried forward and enriched its prosperity. On May 29, 1980, Suzhou Wu School Research Association was established. The President was Wu Mu, the Vice President were Xu Shaoqing, Duan Dongzhan, Sun Junliang and Shen Bin. Xie Xiaosi, Zhang Xinjia, Shen Zicheng were consultants. There were more than 60 artists, painting theorists, painting appraiser to participate in the Association. The Association acted a very important role in promoting Wu arts, calligraphy and painting exhibitions and publications both at home and abroad.