Friday, July 8, 2011

08/07 Expert's Expo point of view

CRI | July 08, 2011 10:36
By Agencies

Expert's Expo point of view
Wu Xueping, deputy director of Xi'an Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry. Photo: CRI

The ongoing Xi'an International Horticultural Expo is a great place to sample the subtle differences between the gardening culture of the East and the West, said an expert in ancient gardening and architecture.

Wu Xueping, deputy director of Xi'an municipal bureau of landscape and forestry, said in an exclusive interview with CRI reporters that visiting the 109 unique gardens at the garden expo is something not to be missed for garden lovers.

The different characteristics of different nations of the world are embodied in their garden culture, Wu Xueping said.

Commenting on a recently concluded competition in which over 170 gardening artists from home and abroad presented 300 flower arrangement artworks to vie for visitor attention, Wu Xueping said it is interesting if one could tell the cultural differences those artworks represent.

"The oriental flower arrangement aims at demonstrating the individual beauty." said Wu, "the oriental style strives to display the beauty of one flower, one leave, or one single posture of the plant. The leaves and branches of the flower are paid with equal attention as they are indispensable to the meaningful posture of the artwork. The oriental way delivers the beauty of simplicity."

"The western flower arrangement specializes in bringing about visual impact by the formation of a collection of flowers." Wu continued. "The color is eye-catching. The postures are simple. It displays its intention through simple geometric patterns like "O" shape, "L" shape and oval shape. It is about the overall beauty."

It is quite interesting when you consider actually it is the West that is famous for individualism and the East collectivism.

As an expert who has worked in the garden design for some 30 years, Wu Xueping proceeded to share with CRI reporters her overall impression of the garden designers of the East and the West.

"The Chinese garden designers are like poets inking down a literature piece. Their ways are elusive and better to be guessed than known for sure. They aim to incorporate the image of nature, the thoughts in their minds, and the Chinese cultural blood into their artworks." Wu Xueping said.

"The western garden designers emphasize order, pattern, accuracy and overall appearance. Their ways of expression are direct and straightforward. Take the parterre for instance, it forcibly trim the plant into the shape as desired by the gardener. The western garden designers are like mathematicians writing down a formula." Wu added.

The expert on Chinese gardens went on further to explain the unique garden aesthetics of the Chinese.

"Ancient Chinese believe that gardening is man's artistic way of recreating the natural landscape." Wu Xueping said. "Gardens are created for men. So what man wants -- mountains, rivers, woods, and open grounds - are all duly created and incorporated in a Chinese garden. It caters to men's need of getting close to nature."

"The Perfect Chinese Garden should be made out of the hand of man, but following the hints of Nature." She paraphrased a credo from an ancient garden classic.

Among the 109 gardens at the expo site, about half of them are provided by different provinces or regions in China. 10 are from different counties inside Shaanxi Province.

According to Wu Xueping, all the gardens from China have reflected the unique Chinese concept and techniques of creating a garden, from layout of the landscape to the use of water and vegetation.

Some of these gardens are decorated with cultural hallmarks, like the Xianyang Garden being furnished with a miniature sculpture series of Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor, to display the culture-rich province's splendid heritage.

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