The Art of Chinese Gardens

Photography by Chung Wah Nan

Chung Wah Nan

May 15 – June 19, 1999

The beautiful gardens that can be seen in China today were once part of the private residences of well-to-do merchants and high officials. From the sixteenth to the twentieth century, a succession of imperial governments confiscated the gardens and used them as offices, even as dormitories for soldiers. During the Cultural Revolution many were ruined and reduced to rubble by Mao’s Red Guards. Some, however, have miraculously survived or been restored to their former splendor. Says Chung Wah Nan of his photographs of these gardens, “If for a fleeting moment, you share the joy of Chinese gardens – the folding skin of rocks, the shadow of bamboo dancing on a white wall, the silhouette of dark eaves against the bright sky, the smooth flat surface of water turning to ripples, the sound of a wind bell, all the simple joy of nature – then I am content.”

The Center is pleased to exhibit these black-and-white photographs which record the natural and architectural beauty of this centuries-old Chinese art. A catalogue of the exhibition will be available for sale in the CCC gallery shop.

Image: “Dushu Tai (Reading Terrace),” Changshu, China, 1979.