Chinese Gardens and Landscapes: Infinite Worlds10 - 25 April, 2018

Trip Dates:
10 - 25 April, 2018
Trip Price: £3480 excluding international flights
Trip Length: 16 days

China has a tradition of garden making and landscape appreciation considerably older than that in the West. Many understand this, but may find classical Chinese gardens difficult to understand: the dominant role of buildings, the clear importance given to what we tend to see as random piles of rocks and a spatial organisation which is totally different to the clear perspectives and axial lines of the western tradition.

Dr Hardie will introduce the historical and stylistic development of different types of garden in China, particularly imperial, scholarly and merchant gardens, setting them in the context of the appreciation of landscape in the Chinese tradition. Imperial gardens may be represented by the Qing dynasty gardens in Beijing (the Summer Palace, the gardens of the Forbidden City, Prince Gong’s Garden)); scholarly gardens by the gardens of Shanghai (the Yu Garden, the Ancient Garden of Elegance in Nanxiang), Suzhou (the Artless Administrator’s Garden, Garden of the Master of Fishing-Nets, and others), Wuxi (Jichang Garden) and Ningbo (Tianyi ge); and merchant gardens by those in Yangzhou (the He Garden and Ge Garden), Anhui. A major effort will be made to help travellers understand the gardens they will see, through making clear the connections with those other artistic activities which the garden-makers of China were engaged in: painting, poetry, landscape walking and music.

In addition to gardens, two key sites of inspiration for classical Chinese garden-makers will be visited: the Huang Shan mountains of Anhui Province and the Western Lake in Hangzhou. Much Chinese garden design is about the ‘microcosm in the macrocosm’ and so many garden features only make sense to the visitor if the original landscape inspiration is appreciated.

Please note that Distant Horizons has sole responsibility for the operation of this tour. The participating University has no direct control over the operation of any tours.

The maximum number of travellers is 20.

Maximum Party Size: 20

Trip Leader: Dr Alison Hardie

Dr Alison Hardie, is the U.K.’s leading expert on Chinese garden history, and a cultural historian of late-imperial China who is well-placed to interpret the historical, social and stylistic features of Chinese gardens as well as to situate them in a wider cultural context, thus giving a deeper insight into Chinese culture as a whole, at the same time as explaining the special features of Chinese gardens in particular.request itinerary

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