Han Meilin was born in Jinan in 1936, and over the years, he's had several one-man shows all over the world and received numerous accolades. As one of the most renowned artists in the country, he was chosen to head up the committee for the 2008 Olympic mascots (he's to blame for Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and Nini). It's not really clear why Hangzhou was chosen as a place to showcase his work because he wasn't born here, and he didn't go to school here. In any case, he donated over 1,000 works, and the government decided to construct the museum to house them.
This is definitely one of the best museums in town. The prolific Han dabbles in everything calligraphy, ceramics, painting and sculpture. We especially like the four ton Buddha head to the east of the entrance. Hard to miss that baby. After perusing the artwork, stroll into the book bar. There wasn't a soul when we went, but it's really nicely laid out. There's coffee, tea, snacks and noodles that you can have while you read through one of the Han Meilin books you've just bought. You can also pick up postcards, stationery or even one of those annoying Olympic Friendlies.
Ticket: Free Admission
Tours (in Chinese): 9:30am, 10:30am, 2pm, 3pm