Monday, September 16, 2013

Vancouver, BC--Chinese Garden

By Chuck

We regretted not staying over in Vancouver after our Alaskan cruise a couple of years ago.  Now we are back.  Our hotel was right downtown and within walking distance of almost everything.  Including non-stop fast food from every country in the world.  We walked to nearby Gastown, Vancouver's old town, and walked around, stopping for a perfect lunch outside.  The famous steam-powered clock was right across the street from us and went off every 15 minutes.

Delicious bruschetta appetizer for lunch

Thick seafood chowder as the main course

Next, we wanted to see the Chinese Garden in Vancouver.

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first full-size Chinese or "scholars" garden built outside of China. Built in 1985-6, the mandate of the garden is to “maintain and enhance the bridge of understanding between Chinese and western cultures, promote Chinese culture generally and be an integral part of the local community.”

Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese revolutionary, first president and founding father of the Republic of China ("Nationalist China"). Sun was a uniting figure in post-Imperial China, and remains unique among 20th-century Chinese politicians for being widely revered amongst the people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait. He played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty. He was appointed to serve as president of the Provisional Republic of China, when it was founded in 1912. He later co-founded the Kuomintang (KMT), serving as its first leader.

Pavilion in Dr. Sun Yat-sen Chinese Gardens

The rock and the tree are equally important elements of a classical Chinese garden, both being part of Nature.Note the square, decorative window in the background. There are 43 of these and each one is distinctively carved.

Claire in the Garden

Ming Dynasty furniture

Decorative interior of the reception hall

View of the garden from the steps of the reception hall.

The colors of the plants are important artistic elements. Classical Chinese gardens are designed to display natural beauty in all seasons of the year.

This is actually a public park seen from the SYS garden. It seems that when the city set aside the land for the garden, funds were only raised to complete one-third of the area. So, the city decided to develop a similar public park on the rest of the land.

Detail of the rain gutter. When it rains, water is channeled onto the curved triangles and drips down like a neckace of pearls.

A corner garden

There is a Yin-Yang complementarity throughout the garden. Here is the Yin.

Here is Yang

This is the script used by classical Chinese scholars. It is more like the writing of ancient Egypt than that of modern Chinese characters.

Here is the round Moon Window, looking over the public park. See how it frames the natural scene behind it--just like a painting on a wall.

The square Sun Window, looking back into the garden. Yin & Yang, again.

Ceramic stool in tea and art room for visitors to enjoy at the end of the tour