Chinese Culture Seminar - Fall 2015
Speaker: Frank Sabouri
Abstract: Traditional garden design emphasizes the holistic and complementary nature of the physical and human environment, integrating polar opposites such as the small vs. large, real vs. illusory, static vs. dynamic, living vs. inert, etc. The Chinese garden is thus conceived as form of an idealized space giving expression to the needs, desires, and aspirations of a people in search of harmony, balance, and self-actualization. Traditional Chinese gardens are more important than ever as they embody and preserve a deep cultural memory that can be drawn on in the contemporary period in anchoring the large-scale transformation of modern Chinese society in local practices and knowledge. The speaker will first explain the aesthetics of the traditional Chinese garden and its rich cultural heritage and then introduce a number of projects in China that he was personally involved in to discuss the ways in which globalization and local essences can be brought into a fruitful dialogue.