As an important city for the“Wu”area, its culture bears distinctive characteristics, which can be identified in its dialect, architecture, waterway transportation and various art types.
It was one of the art and cultural centers of “Jiangnan”, with several famous Chinese authors claiming Wuxi as their hometown. Among them, most recently, Qian Zhongshu, author of Fortress Besieged, a comedy of manners set in China in the 1930s. Wuxi was the birthplace of the famous Chinese (later American) artist Chen Chi (1912—2005), in whose honor a museum has been erected in the city.
One of the handicraft specialties of Wuxi is the production of Huishan clay figurines and clay tea pots.
In modern times Wuxi has produced a number of cultural figures such as Hua Yanjun (1893–1950) also known as “Blind Abing" (瞎子阿炳), famous for his erhu and pipa music. Another famous musician is Liu Tianhua, who was the first to compile folk music using staff.