Chinese Architecture Series: Chinese Gardens: Theory and Practice, 1st Edition

  • Chen Congzhou
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 981441624X
  • ISBN-13: 9789814416245
  • Grade Level Range: 12th Grade - College Senior
  • 0 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2016 | Published/Released August 2016
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2016

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[In the words of the author, as far as the harmonious relationship between man and nature is concerned,] the traditional Chinese garden is an artistic synthesis of architecture, rockery, water, and horticulture that exudes idyllic sentiments and picturesque fascinations. Though rockery and water are set out by man, they must look like wrought by nature. . . . The value of rockery is borne in its veins, and that of a stream or pond lies in its headwater; only when the veins and the headwater are interconnected can the entire garden come to dynamic life. . . . [And with regard to the relationship between the traditional Chinese garden and man’s artistic sentiments and pursuits, it should be noted that] the gardens made by the literati-officials, most of whom were proficient in poetry and prose and could paint and sing, were inevitably rooted in their shared ideals or feelings. . . . Imbued with allusions to poetry and prose, their gardens achieve oneness with literature by means of inscribed horizontal boards and vertical couplets, as well as records and colophons on classical paintings. That is why whenever a visitor steps into such a garden, he feels as if he were rambling the realms of poetry and painting. He may improvise a poem on the spot if he is highly attained in literature, and depict the garden’s scenery with freewheeling brush strokes in the late Ming tradition if he is a painter. All this . . . has happened to every educated visitor to such a garden.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Chen Congzhou

Chen Congzhou (1918–2000), a native of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, was a Professor of Architecture at Tongji University, Shanghai, and was the leading Chinese garden historian of his generation and a distinguished practicing landscape architect involved in the conservation and restoration of historic gardens. He served as an advisor to I. M. Pei & Partners and was made an honorary member of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture. He is widely referenced and quoted by specialists on traditional Chinese gardens, and is considered one of the most preeminent thinkers and scholars in this field. Some of his works and publications have been translated into English.