I entered the central garden area of the Suzhou Museum and immediately this wonderful architectural space gave me the strong sensation of stopping and taking a deep breath.
Designed by the internationally renowned architect IM Pei, the museum was completed in 2006 and is said to be his last design.
I only got to visit because I pleaded with my guide to let me off the leash while the rest of our group went to the Humble Administrators garden next door to the Museum. I got 45 minutes to look before I had to rejoin my group.
While I seriously considered spending all of my short time at the museum sitting and looking at Pei’s rock garden I dragged myself away and did what would have to be one of the fastest museum ‘crawls’ on record.
Thankfully I had left my camera on the bus so I had to draw to if I wanted to record anything. Here are the two items I drew. Firstly a stone in the Song Pavillion, a reconstruction of a scholars’ room. It came mounted on its own completely made to measure stand.
In the Neolithic section a sand cast ‘tripod’ ceramic pot which had a wonderful surface texture and a compelling shape.
Finally I returned to the garden and spent my remaing 10 minutes drawing part of the rock garden.
Not surprisingly all the colour on these drawings was added after I returned to the hotel.
I would have loved to spend more time here, but at least I got there in the end. If you ever get the chance to visit please go.