The highly formalized surfaces of a classical Chinese scholarly garden are quite enjoyable and intriguing on a purely visual level; they can be appreciated for that alone. But in deeper ways they are full of allusions to how people can find happiness in a balanced relationship with nature and with each other.
Session 1 at the Richmond Campus examines the history of Chinese scholarly gardens, the preoccupations of the people who owned them, and some key Chinese philosophical concepts.
Session 2 at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Garden in Vancouver looks at how the intricate aesthetic arrangements of plants, water, rocks, and buildings creatively embody these abstract ideas and provide “refreshment for the heart.”
The Garden is very close to the Stadium/Chinatown skytrain station. There is some on-street parking in Chinatown and also a big parking garage at Keefer and Quebec streets within sight of the Garden. On April 17, Frank will go over the directions.
Frank Abbott is a retired member of the Department of History at Kwantlen and has been an occasional docent at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden since 1990. He has given many fascinating courses for TALK.