Wuzhen has foot bridges and flowing waters; it has been home to Mao Dun and Mu Xin. Wuzhen has drama festivals, museums, and fine cuisine. Wuzhen is the site of both daily life and grand events such as the World Internet Conference. In 2016, the town welcomed the Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Exhibition.
A Thousand Year-Old Town Injected with Modern Vitality
Wuzhen is an ancient town, established more than 1,300 years ago, and tourism played an important role in Wuzhen’s preservation and development. For the last 16 years, president of Wuzhen Tourism, Chen Xianghong, has led his team in restoring nearly 560,000 square meters of traditional homes in the East District and West District. Wuzhen’s preservation concept has been approved by UNESCO and supported by contemporary society. During the Second World Internet Conference, Chinese president Xi Jinping came to Wuzhen and gave a speech expressing his sincere admiration for Wuzhen’s efforts to the Conference participants.
Wuzhen is also modern; the concept behind Wuzhen’s preservation is the reuse of historical streets. As Chen Xianghong said, “We’re putting new wine into an old bottle.” Wuzhen has attracted attention for the development of its historical areas; ten years ago, the town was completely covered with infrastructure for liquefied natural gas, drinking water, and WIFI. As the permanent host for the World Internet Conference, Wuzhen has shown that a thousand year-old town can shine once again with modern vitality.
From a Landmark Cultural Town to a Diverse Cultural Gathering Place
Wuzhen is a cultural. In addition to protecting its tradition, history, and culture, Wuzhen has transformed from a tourist town to a relaxation town to a cultural town over the course of nearly ten years. Wuzhen has been given added vitality through the combination of modern art and traditional culture. Especially during the theater festival, Wuzhen demonstrated its international vision and immense capabilities in the organization of large-scale international cultural exchange events.
Wuzhen is diverse. Today’s Wuzhen is a pioneer in China’s small-town renaissance, and the town has become an economic, political, social, and cultural gathering place. With this deep historical and cultural foundation, the exchange and assimilation within contemporary art provided a unique space and environment for interaction. After the Wuzhen Theater Festival, the town hosted the Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Exhibition, and this global cultural event will make Wuzhen’s culture richer, more brilliant, and more charming.