The water painting garden was first built in the Wanli Period of Ming Dynasty. At that time, personages like Qian Qianyi, Wu Weiye, Wang Shizhen, Kong Shangren, Chen Weisong and so on gathered in Rugao and enjoyed poetry responsory in the garden.
Today’s Water Painting Garden is composed of People’s Park, Yuxiang Nunnery and Shuiming Building.
People’s Park is located in the east part with Yi Garden Site in the middle, Kettle Neck Site in the south and Water Painting Garden Site in the north. The former Water Painting Garden is in the process of reconstruction now. Yuxiang Nunnery and Shuiming Building in the west form complete architecture cluster of its own system. Outside the gate sat two stone lions squatting on the two sides and on the gate is a horizontal plaque of “Water Painting Garden”.
Shuiming Building was built by the nearly deserted earthen bowl washing pool of Warter Painting Garden by Wang Zhiyan, Salt Embassy of Anhui, in the year 23 of Qianlong Period of Tang Dynasty. Its name came from the poem line of “Moon appears on the top of mountain in the morning and there is still remnant of evening in Shuiming Building” by Dufu, a famous poet in Tang Dynasty. The admiration of Wang for Pijiang and Dong Xiaowan and the deep feelings about Water Painting Garden is contained in construction of this building.