• The architecture of Wuzhen will inspire some of the works to be showcased in the exhibition.

The architecture of Wuzhen will inspire some of the works to be showcased in the exhibition. (Photo : China Daily)

Wuzhen is embracing contemporary art by holding the first International Contemporary Art Exhibition starting March 27 until June 26, as reported by China Daily.

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The exhibition will showcase works by 40 influential artists from 15 countries and regions with big names like Marina Abramovic, Damien Hirst, Florentijn Hofman, Bill Viola and Araki Nobuyoshi.

There will be a wide range of works on display, including installation sculptures, videos, performance arts, photos, paintings and sound arts.

"The event will be either a biennial or triennial one. It's the first time for a small town in China to hold such a large-scale exhibition with so many star artists from across the globe," said Feng Boyi, the exhibition's curator.

Usually, major events happen in China's big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. However, this can be seen as an attempt by Wuzhen to attract art resources, said Feng.

Many of the artists are creating works specifically for the show, allowing them to blend with the ancient architecture of the water town, according to Feng.

Visual artist Ann Hamilton is set to create an installation to be placed on a traditional grand stage that is hundreds of years old.

Florentijn Hofman, who is best known for his traveling Rubber Duck, is also set to create a work specifically for Wuzhen.

Half of the 40 artists are Chinese, including Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing, Sui Jianguo and Liu Jianhua.

Sui, one of China's top sculptors, visited Wuzhen in October to conceptualize his work for the show. His work will be showcased in a deserted silk factory that was built in 1970, back when silk was a major industry in the town.

"The silk factory is an old memory of the town. I like it. It's much the same with the 789 art zone in Beijing," said Sui, who owns a studio in 798, an art district in Beijing that was created from old factories.

There are around 21 artists who have visited Wuzhen to draw inspiration for the art show.