I only returned from exploring Suzhou, China two weeks ago and still am reeling from such an eye-opening, visually stimulating and immersive trip!
Suzhou is just what you expect traditional China to be.
Though there are high-rises and busy modern center, the old town is basically in a time warp. As you walk the cobbled street or cruise down the canals on a wooden boat helmed by a singing local, you will truly feel that you are 2500 years in the past.
I was exploring Suzhou to shoot a series on the ancient arts and traditions. My cameraman, translator, guide and other team members joined me in what would be a jam-packed 4 days of Suzhou culture. Each episode in our series included working with a local artisan or master craftsman.
These are my favorite types of stories to tell–the real stories of the local people.
Through meeting these masters, learning their skills and understanding their stories, I was able to understand what is Suzhou today by understanding its history.
You will be seeing 4 Master Class videos from this culture series: Calligraphy, Bonsai, Dumplings & Silk. These four elements are woven in the fabric of daily life yet have been important in Suzhou’s culture for centuries.
My first episode is released today (!) and it is focused on Calligraphy. We went visited the Garden of Cultivation, an ornate garden with rock formations, caves and a lovely central pond with lily pads. There was also a popular teahouse in this garden and we had a private room inside to conduct our calligraphy lesson. Our master, Fanwu Zheng, didn’t speak any English so he and I used a translator to communicate. But quickly, we were able to understand each other through laughs, gestures and brushstrokes.
Suzhou was one of the premier places for calligraphy, being home to the Wu School of professional artists and some of the country’s most skilled calligraphers. Calligraphy was considered one of the highest forms of visual art, along with poetry and painting. It is much more than just writing, it is the creation of moving pieces of artwork.
The best way to understand Suzhou, our experience and the significance of calligraphy is through our first episode. Take a look and let me know what you think!
Now the travel giveaway!
The contest is on Twitter only.
- Roundtrip airfare from the US or Canada to Suzhou, China (You fly into Shanghai then transfer)
- 4 Nights Accommdations in Suzhou (hotels are nice!)
- All meals included (YUM!)
- The 4 Cultural Opportunities that I experienced with Calligraphy, Bonsai, Dumplings & Silk!
How to Enter:
- Follow @VisitSuzhou on Twitter.
- Retweet: All you have to do to enter is to Retweet my video launch tweet here OR Retweet the launch tweet from @VisitSuzhou.
- Enter by October 4th!
— Kelley Ferro (@kelleyferro) September 27, 2017
One lucky winner will be selected from there. I cannot wait to see who wins because this trip was so special to me and I want others to share it! GOOD LUCK!