The Classical Chinese Garden Wang Shufen email@example.com
Question 1: How many Chinese classical gardens did you visit in China? What are they? Question 2: • Please compare Chinese classical gardens with the western gardens, such as Versailles Palace in France and tell me briefly the main differences between these two types.
OUTLINE 1 The Outline of Classical Chinese Gardens 1.1 The brief history of Classical Chinese Gardens 1.2 The Categories of Classical Chinese Gardens 2 Features of Chinese Gardens 2.1 The Garden as the setting for a Good Life 2.2 The Garden as Art 2.3 The Garden as an Ideal 3 The Elements of Garden Design 3.1 Plants 32 Water 3.3 Rockeries 3.4 Buildings
Chinese Gardens • A special aspect in traditional Chinese culture and art; • An artistic recreation of nature; • A landscape painting in three dimensions; • Meeting man's demand for relaxation and lodging; • a combination of rock, water, trees and flowers and such artificial elements as architecture, painting and poetry; • "look natural, though man-made". Being made by human hands though, it ought to be as good as being born by great nature. 虽由人作，宛自天开
1.1 The brief history of Classical Chinese Gardens • The history of Chinese garden can be dated back to the Shang and Zhou dynasties. At that time, the garden was called "You"囿 or "You for play", which means enclosure the views of concinnity and concision, and raising the animal for hunting. • Gardening became fashionable among the upper classes after the Han dynasty. During the Song dynasty, scholars embraced garden planning, writing guidebooks on the construction and aesthetics of gardens. People began to collect unusual rocks, plants, and trees, and grew miniature gardens in trays. Chinese gardening reached its height during the Ming dynasty. • It was the peak time for the garden building in the Ming and the Qing Dynasties.
There are at least four different ways to classify Chinese gardens First, they can be classified into imperial gardens and private gardens. A private garden：a place of retreat for the gentleman-scholar to escape the chaos of the city. 1.2 The Categories of Classical Chinese Gardens
Second, in terms of geographical location, there are Northern Gardens, Southern Gardens and Lingnan Gardens • Northern Gardens are mostly found in Luoyang, Kaifeng, and Beijing. Those in Beijing are as representatives; • Southern Gardens refer to gardens in the lower Yangtze River valley, which are mostly found in Nanjing, Wuxi, Yangzhou,Suzhou and Hangzhou. Those in Suzhou are the most representatives; • Lingnan Gardens are found in Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shunde.
Third, the Chinese gardens fall into four categories, that is, imperial gardens, private gardens (also called A Scholar's Garden), monastic gardens, and gardens in scenic resorts. Famous monastic gardens including the Jinci Temple of Shanxi and the Tanzhe Temple of Beijing; whereas the West Lake of Hangzhou and the Darning Lake of Jinan belong to scenic gardens.
Fourth, Chinese gardens can be classified into regular gardens, naturalistic gardens and mixed gardens. • Generally speaking, most of the gardens in the west are regular gardens. Most Chinese gardens, including large imperial gardens or small private ones, are naturalistic gardens.
2 Features of Chinese Gardens 2.1 The Garden as the setting for a Good Life 2.2 The Garden as Art 2.3 The Garden as an Ideal
2.1 The Garden as the setting for a Good Life • A man ceased to do the things he has to do, and does the things he likes to do, that his character is revealed…..and we see the inner man, his real self. • -------Lin Yutang,1935 • Making gardens: things did best at leisure time
Home Garden: 花园: Huayuan, flower garden. A Chinese Huayuan contains much more than just flowers. Traditionally, A Huayuan is composed of trees, rockeries, a pond or lake, zigzag footpath, winding corridors, bridges, structure for habitation, quiet viewing, and merrymaking. Artistically designed, not natural. A Garden—a landscape painting in three dimensions • Chinese concept: Home • Yuanzhai(院宅）: garden-house • Jiayuan（家园）：home-garden According to Lin, the minimum accommodation for a garden or yard must include: A patch of earth-----to plant vegetables and fruits; A place---for children to catch crickets and get comfortable dirty; for adults to sit under the shade of trees; A well----for the supply of water; A yard-----for raising chickens and other domestic animals; A few date trees---for food.
Buildings • 2. Rockery • 3. Water • 4. Plants (Garden) The Chinese character Yuan is dissected into meaningful parts symbolizing the organization and components of a garden.
A garden: • A place for the enjoyment for scenery; • A setting for romance; • An outdoor site for recreation and celebration; • A status symbol for the household • 可行、可望、可游、可居的生活境域 • Yuanmingyuan: used in its heyday by the Qing emperor as a place “for drinking, admiring the surrounding landscape, composing poetry, painting in an atmosphere that helped them transcend the real world to a world of relaxation and spiritual pleasure”
For private garden: • Scholar hermits regularly met in gardens. Activities included: quiet meditation, abstract philosophizing, composing and reading poetry, painting, playing the zither, concentrating on a game of chess, sampling tea, drinking wine, fishing, boating,picking herbs for medicine, making pills for immortality( a Daoist practice).
2.2 The Garden as Art Composition/syntax of garden design: • Principles of garden design • Theories of landscape painting Yuan Ye: published in 1634, Ji Cheng, Ming dynasty Ji Cheng: painter and garden-builder Alison Hardie: The craft of Gardens( 1988, Yale University Press) Main Points: Though man-made, it will look like something created naturally; Follow the lie the land;精在体宜 Borrow from the exsiting scenery.巧于因借 《园冶》一书的精髓，可归纳为“虽由人作，宛自天开”，“巧于因借，精在体宜”两句话。这两句话的精神贯穿于全书。
On the purpose of the Garden • Yuan Ye • It must “nourish the heart,” spur the poetic reverie by creating “an atmosphere of deep feelings, ” and provide a place of retreat wherein one can “live as hermit（隐居者） in the midst of the town.” “You feel removed from all the unrest world, entering in fantasy a landscape painting. ” “The things you love captivate you; they appear to your eyes and affect your heart, Your thoughts then fly more quickly than the brush.”
On “Borrowing scenery” • Borrowing scenery from the distance, near at hand, above you, below you, and certain times of the year; • Borrowing the sounds, colours, smells from a large environment. • “借者，园虽别内外，得景则无拘远近”，它的原则是“极目所至，俗则屏之，嘉则收之”，方法是布置适当的眺望点，使视线越出园垣，使园之景尽收眼底。如遇晴山耸翠的秀丽景色，古寺凌空的胜景，绿油油的田野之趣，都可通过借景的手法收入园中，为我所用。
On “artificial hills” • Piling up of “artificial hills” : • If a single rock is set upright in the center as the “chief stone” and two more rocks, known as “split peaks” ones are inserted on each side, the single one will stand in solitary magnificence and the lesser ones will act as supporters”.
On the use of rocks and water • “Build up mountains from the excavated soil and form embankments along the edge of the ponds” • “high mounds can be further heightened and low-lying places should be dug deeper still” • “water should be allowed to flow freely as if it had no end, and when it blocks your path, build a bridge across it” ----water comes from nowhere, and it is endless
On buildings • “Why should all the main halls be built the same regardless of their location in the garden? Why set up a pavilion on top of rocks if there is no view from it?” • Great variety in scenery, encouraged sensitive responses to individual site conditions, emphasized the importance of irregularity and asymmetry in design, and prompted elegance and simplicity in construction.
2.2 The Garden as Art---the theory of Landscape painting • Concerning composition • Concerning process • Concerning mountains • Concerning plants • Concerning water
Concerning composition • In a landscape painting, there must a “host” and “guest” in hills, mountains, to and from in water, tortuousness in hills, up and down in a mountain, range,…..branching off in roads, revealing and concealing in streams, and high and low in curved river banks( Jing Hao, Shanshuijieyao, An Outline of Landscape Painting)
Concerning process • Getting ready to execute a painting in front of a blank sheet, …….when “a complete bamboo is in your chest”(meaning having a well thought-out scheme胸有成竹)，then start painting with ink and brush. ----(Wang Yuanqi, Hualun shize, Ten rules of painting)
Concerning plants • Distant mountains show no base, distant trees show no roots, and distant boats show no hulls(only sails are visible). • Chen Fuyao in Huajing: if there is no good flower in a garden,it will be like a beautiful mansion without a gorgeous woman in it. Plants: symbolic meanings. Not merely individual plant materials useful for the landscape of the eye. They are the essential ingredients for the “inscape” of the mind.
Concerning water • Mountains are valued for their range, water is valued for its source. • Streams follow mountains, and mountains are brought to life by streams. • For he mountains, streams are its veins, grass, its hair, and mists and clounds, its expressions ( Guo Xi, Song dynasty)
Concerning mountains • 郭熙，河南温县人。字淳夫。活跃在北宋中期。在《林泉高致》中说到，“春山淡冶而如笑，夏山苍翠而如滴，秋山明净而如妆，冬山惨淡而如睡。" A spring mountain appears to be smiling; a summer mountain seems open-minded; an autumn mountain, well groomed; and a winter mountain, sleepy. • In the eyes of painter, these expressions were translated as: The spring mountain with misty clouds makes people active and happy; the summer mountain, covered with shady forest, makes people peaceful and poised, the autumn mountain, with bare tree trunks, makes people serious and solemn; and the winter mountain with obscure views makes people passive and lonely.”
2.3 The Garden as an Ideal • picture-in –dimensions: basic • Semantic dimension: need to explore relying on other sources in addition to the physical setting of the garden itself. • A Garden was to: • Gardens: an art form to express their opinions about the affairs of the world. • to tell stories that were untold, to air grievances that were undisclosed, to describe dreams that were unfulfilled, to propose vision that had not materialized
Example 1: Hall of distant fragrance 远香堂 • Taken from a verse: fragrance in the distant makes it even pure and distinct; ----The love of Lotus, Zhou Dunyi, Song dynansty • Growing out of muddy waters yet remaining uncontaminated • 远香堂 tells the visitor that there are fragrant flowers at a distant from the hall; • It is Lotus blossoms that emit the fragrance.
Example 2: Ge Yuan in Yangzhou • The Character 个，one half of 竹 • Meaning: the first owner Huang Yingtai considered himself the single and only remaining bamboo branch left in the troubled world. He wanted others to appreciate his good character through the naming of his garden. Names, couplets(对联）, poems and chronicles（游记）: written or carved on special designed boards and tablets in either horizontal or vertical formats.
Bamboo 竹 Zhu • One of the most important and versatile plants, bamboo symbolizes modesty, Its hollow heart implies humility, and it is often associated with the scholar. The bamboo, pine, and plum tree are the “Three Friends of Winter,” Because they are evergreen. They embody the virtues of friendship. • Bamboo- "thin, had backbone and tall," meaning "though poor and hungry, it is still high-spirited and never bends or bows unless you break its backbone."
Symble of the perfect Confucian gentleman, who kept his virtue pure and his emotions in check; like a bamboo stalk, he kept his inner self empty and untroubled, and could bend in the wind without breaking. It grew rapidly, a model of self development.
Example 3: 桐音馆,南京煦园Music from the tone tree guest house, Warm garden, Nanjing • A story behind its name. • Lushi chunqiu(Lu’s annals of spring and autumn) , Yu boya and Zhong Ziqi. • Tong tree: one of the best materials for making Chinese guitars.
Example 4: • 网师园The Fisherman’s garden • 小沧浪Little Canglang Pavilion in Zhuozheng garden • 沧浪亭Surging-wave pavilion garden( blue wave garden) • 濯缨水阁washing-tassel water pavilion What do you think these names in thess gardens? Fisherman's Garden - a name coming from an actual event in ancient China. The Fisherman's Garden was constructed during the Song Dynasty and was rebuilt at the time of the Qing Dynasty in 1766 AD. This garden's name came from a story which happened in the Chu Kingdom when China was split into several smaller kingdoms during the Warring States period (475-221 BC).
Being a senior consultant to the King of Chu, the famous poet, writer and esthete, Qu Yuan (340-277 BC) was finally sent into exile. Before he committed suicide in a river, he met with an old fisherman who asked about the reason why he was sent into exile from the capital city for life. Qu Yuan replied:
"The whole world is dirty, while I am clean.The whole country is sleepy, while I am awake.This is the reason why I am here now." • Then the fisherman laughed and said to him: "Can you see the water over there in the Cang-lang Lake? If the water in the lake is clean enough, you might wash your hat and go to work again for the king. If the water is dirty enough, you might wash your feet and go to sleep." • But, this great statesman neither washed his hat nor washed his feet, but killed himself by drowning the Ro-mo River. Before his death he wrote his last poem:
How hurried a day in summer is! • Why the day so hazyand the night so dark? • How far my destination of life is! • Why is my dream so longAnd my day so short? • I do not know how rough and bumpymy road tomorrow will be. • I do know no one can tell me how -I have to ask the moon and stars. • If I could not reach the destinationin my life, • Let my soul go the rest of the wayled by the moon and stars.
The "Fisherman's Garden" as a private garden was designed to show respect to this great poet Qu Yuan. Inside the garden there is a pavilion standing by the water named "Pavilion of Washing Your Hat." The water in the pond must be clean enough. But here "clean" means "dirty" while "washing your hat" means "washing your feet," as the garden designer also wanted to say: "It is the time for us to wash our feet and go to sleep, while the whole society is still dirty enough and the whole country is still sleepy" -being in fear of political persecution, the garden designer could not say what he wanted to. He had to put it ironically!
Example 5: The Happiness of Fish • The Happiness of Fish(鱼之乐). Zhuangzi and Huizi were strolling along the dam of the Hao Waterfall。 Zhuangzi said, "See how the minnows come out and dart around where they please! That's what fish really enjoy!“ Huizi said, “You‘re not a fish — how do you know what fish enjoy?” Zhuangzi said, "You're not I, so how do you know I don't know what fish enjoy?“ Huizi said, "I'm not you, so I certainly don't know what you know. On the other hand, you're certainly not a fish — so that still proves you don't know what fish enjoy!“ Zhuangzi said, "Let's go back to your original question, please. You asked me how I know what fish enjoy — so you already knew I knew it when you asked the question. I know it by standing here beside the Hao." “知鱼”是战国时期庄子和惠子游于濠梁之上的一个著名典故。《庄子·秋水》篇载:“庄子曰:‘鲦鱼出游从容,是鱼之乐也。’惠子曰:‘子非鱼,安知鱼之乐?’庄子曰。‘子非我,安知我不知鱼之乐?’”
这是一段很有情趣的对话。庄子主张清静无为,好游乐于清泉幽寂之处,所以这种意境常为文人所追求而将它们用在园林之中。下面这些景点所追求的都是这个典故所代表的意境。这是一段很有情趣的对话。庄子主张清静无为,好游乐于清泉幽寂之处,所以这种意境常为文人所追求而将它们用在园林之中。下面这些景点所追求的都是这个典故所代表的意境。 • 颐和园后山有一座园中之园谐趣园,这是仿照江南名园江苏无锡寄畅园建造的小园。 • 寄畅园中有“知鱼槛”的景点, • 谐趣园同样也有“知鱼桥”景点。 • 香山静宜园有“知鱼濠”,圆明园有“知鱼序”,北海中有“濠濮涧”。
Confucius himself confessed to wanting to go for a dive in the River Yi, and return singing and enjoying the breeze in the willows. At another time , he stood stock-still by a stock-still by a stream, repeating to himself in a cosmic reverie: “It passes on like this, never ceasing, day or night.” Lao Tzu had decreed that “the highest virtue is like water,” • With the development of the landscape movement in poetry and in graphic art, water was “seen” . • We have seen how, by the Ming Dynasty, the Yuan Ye（园冶） described the myriad benefits of this medium for the garden designer. Chuang Tzu(庄子）had spoken repeatedly of the “happiness of fishes,” and cue was taken. Everywhere, pavilions were built over the waters so garden strollers could gaze at and feed the golden carp.
玉琴峡 瞩新楼 知鱼桥 “以物外之静趣，谐寸田之中和” “子非鱼，安知鱼之乐？”
Example 6: The peach-blossom spring • The peach-blossom spring:Jin dynasty, Tao Yuanming • 桃花源记，陶渊明（陶潜），晋朝 • The most influential in bringing visionary ideals to garden design • Living and working during one of the most troubled times in Chinese history, he became a symbol of hope and solace when he published the桃花源记. The work’s fable-like prose described how a fisherman accidenally discovered a happy land as he was rowing aimlessly one day along a stream. • Tao stimulated the imaginative minds of poets, painters,and garden-designers. They set out to creat their ideal worlds and imagined utopias according to their own agendas and emotions.
Story: The peach blossom spring • He suddenly came to a grove of peach trees in blossm. For several hundreds of paces on both banks of the stream there was no other kind of tree. The fragrant flowers were fresh and beautiful; fallen petals lay in rich profusion……….Where the blossoming peach grove ended at the stream’s source there stood a hill, in which there was a small opening…..At first extremely narrow,…it opened out into a broad, level plain where houses and huts stood neatly, with rich fields and lovely ponds, mulberries, bambos and the like. • The field dikes crisscrossed; chickens and dogs could be heard from farm to farm,,,,White-haired elders and children with hair in flowing tufts were all happily enjoying themselves.
When the people saw the fisherman, they were greatly surprised…Then they invited him to their home,setting out wine and killing a chicken to prepare a meal….They said their ancestors fled from the troubles of Qin times…..and asked whhat dynasty it was now; they knew nothing of the existence of the Han, let alone the Wei or the Jin. • ----an ideal worlds an imagined utopias.
Emperors and scholars each indulged themselves in garden construction with different motivation. • Scholar’s garden: a place for their retreats in exile, also a vehicle tell stories that were untold, describes dreams that were unfulfilled. • Imperial gardens: telling the world about their good characters and great deeds through gardens and parks;express their wishes and desires to live long. • Zhengda Guangming(Just and honourable)正大光明: referred to the Emporor’s honourable personality; • Qinzheng Qinxian(Diligent and affectionate)勤政亲贤: to express his virtues of diligence and kindness; • Changchun xianguan(Ever-spring fairy house)长春仙馆: a filial expression for the Queen mother; • Wanshou shan( Longevity hill)万寿山: a wish and desire to live ten thousand years of age; • Songhe zhai(Pine-and-crane studio)松鹤斋: Pine and crane signify longevity.
Conclusion • Chinese classical private gardens were experienced as cultural rather the scenic. • Chinese classical gardens were created in the same way as a combination of landscape and paintings together with poems - this was the so-called "poetic garden." • The design concept of Chinese scholar’s gardens was to provide a "spiritual utopia" for people to come back to Great Nature, to come back to one's inner heart, to come back to ancient idealism. • In fact, scholar’s gardens were a kind of non-spoken language with which these men of letters might speak to Nature, to themselves and to ancient idealists, with whom they might speak out what they couldn't speak normally.
3. The Elements of Garden Design 3.1 Water 3.2 Rocks/Rockeries 3.3 Buildings 3.4 Plants :What they were and what they meant The arrangement of the elements was more important than were the elements themselves. Designs promoted the harmonious relationships between nature, the elements of the garden, and the observer.