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Book cover of On Chinese Gardens, with landscape garden in gold. Published by Tongji University Press.

On Chinese Gardens

By (author) Chen Congzhou


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  • Sets forth novel concepts in Chinese garden design, and offers an scholarly approach to the subject
  • The material is presented in a lucid and elegant style, with many highly rhythmic sentences in the original Chinese that are capable of being chanted
  • A classic introduction to the art of the Chinese garden, with in-depth theory and literary value
Full Description

This book is a classic of theoretical writing on Chinese gardens by Tongji University Professor Chen Zongzhou, a well-known authority on Chinese gardens. Here, the author sets forth new and novel concepts in garden design and propounds a set of distinctive and penetrating ideas on the subject, including the arrangement of scenes, “in-motion” and “in-position” types of gardens, the handling of hills and water, the planning of buildings, and the laying out of flowers and trees. It elucidates the arrangement of gardens and shows how these relate to human sentiments, and how what is tangible in the garden relates to the intangible. With its unique style this book is not only a theoretical work of garden design, but also a work of rare literary value.
This book is published both in Chinese and English. The Chinese version is first written in exquisite handwriting, using the traditional writing brush, then reproduced in photocopy. Included here are photographs of Suzhou Gardens and 32 plates of ancient Chinese garden designs which vividly complement the literature. The book will acquaint the reader with the art of Chinese garden design and will serve as a reference for modern garden designers and tourists. 

Text in English and Chinese.

About the Author

Chen Congzhou (1918-2000), Professor of Architecture at Tongji University, Shanghai, was the leading Chinese garden historian of his generation, and also a practicing landscape architect involved in the restoration of historic gardens. He served as an advisor to I. M. Pei & Associates and was made an honorary member of the Japanese Garden Society. He is widely referenced and quoted by specialists on Chinese gardens, and is considered one of the most preeminent thinkers and scholars in this field.

Look Inside
Tongji University Press
8th Nov 2022
World excluding China
260 mm x 185 mm
292 Pages
90 color, 80 b&w
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