Thirsty years ago, the cities of Venice and Suzhou, a Chinese city equally characterized by a close relationship with water, became twinned and started a period of fruitful exchanges between their residents in a variety of fields, from culture, arts, economy, through science and sport to tourism. The ensued linking of the two cities has gone beyond the confines of a straightforward friendship, becoming instead a rich and rewarding collaboration: many are the visits that have occurred over the years with representations of one city being given hospitality by the other, each time contributing to strengthening the partnership. Amongst the various events staged to celebrate this anniversary, we are highlighting the suggestive photographic exhibition hosted at the Isle of San Severo with the title Oriental Watertown: 55 frames from the best known Chinese modern photographers of todays China that reveal many surprising common points between the two cities. Gardens, stone bridges and pagodas in Suzhou, with its silk factories a driving force of Chinas economic development, depict a relationship that unites the two cities in the natural environments as well as the spirit and that has torn down distance and languages differences in the name of a brotherhood of feelings.
The Association of photographers in Suzhou, founded in 1960 and with 738 members, is affiliated to the Federation of Art and Literature of Suzhou: this organization, inspired by the principle of serving arts, has won many prices and accolades in China and many other countries and has made Suzhou and its arts known to the world.
The exhibition is organized by the Municipality of Venice, Venice Province, the Committee of Shanghai Venice World Expo 2010 and Venice Foundation. Entry to the exhibition is free, open all day and runs until November 28th.