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Nature within Walls


Nature within Walls
- The Appreciation of the "Chaotic" Beauty of the Classical Chinese Gardens

Chinese gardens can be dated back to over 3,000 years ago, and have since developed into a unique style of landscape gardening art. Upon the first visit of a Chinese garden, the westerners may always feel puzzled, though the pavilions, the bridges, the plantation and the sceneries are beautiful, at the “chaos” of the gardens, crowded with buildings in different styles, without any seeming order. The reason behind it is that western gardens are always in geometric and symmetrical lines.

To find an answer to the puzzlement, Confucius Institute for Business at Matej Bel University (CIB at UMB) co-hosted with Windows of Shanghai of the Slovak State Scientific Library at Banska Bystrica (SVKBB) an online lecture "Nature within Walls - How to Appreciate the Chinese Gardens" . 

The fundamental principle of the Chinese Garden is summarized in the book “The Craft of Gardens -《园冶》(Yuán Yě), in which it says: "The garden is created by the human hand, but should appear as if created by Heaven.” 

Therefore, each Chinese garden is a miniature of nature – A Nature within Walls. This is the starting point to understand the beauty of the Chinese gardens, be it an imperial garden or a private garden. 

Due to the time limit, this lecture focused only on the basic pattern of "Montain(s) in a Pond", the scolar's stones with the features of "leaness, surface texture, porousness and perforations", and water that brings life and vitality to the garden and helps to achieve the balance of Yin and Yang in the garden. Finally, the lecturer answered some questions that the audiences are interested in concerning the Chinese garden.

Here is the link for the online program: Umenie čínskeho záhradníctva – prednáška - YouTube



  1. 苏州园林B站
  2. 苏州园林与绿化局
  3. 知筑学社B站
  4. A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization (University of Washington)
  5. Nature within Walls: The Chinese Garden Court at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  6. Princeton University ArtMuseum
  7. Visit Suzhou (Facebook page)