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Guangzhou's Liwan to hold a Qing Dynasty export art exhibition showcasing Lingnan gardens
Update: 2024-07-01     Source: GDToday

On June 28, the "Mountains and Waters: Lingnan Garden Culture in Qing Dynasty Export Art" exhibition opened at the Cantonese Opera Art Museum. Using garden imagery from Qing Dynasty export art as a starting point, the exhibition invites visitors to explore the flourishing Lingnan gardens of that era.

Lingnan gardens are one of the three major styles of Chinese gardens. The water network of the Pearl River Delta nurtured the Lingnan water towns. Guangzhou, situated on the banks of the Pearl River, is a city intertwined with mountains and lush vegetation, historically known for its picturesque waterways and vibrant landscapes. As a representative of Lingnan gardens, Guangzhou's gardens skillfully integrate the natural terrain, extending the spirit of mountains and waters into the garden itself.

The Lingnan garden, characterized by its picturesque bridges and lush greenery, became a significant decorative theme in contemporary export art. Qing Dynasty export art, such as Guangcai porcelain, pith paper paintings, Cantonese embroidery, and cloisonné enamels depicting Lingnan water towns and gardens, brought a touch of Chinese style to Europe and America while preserving valuable historical imagery of Lingnan gardens for modern audiences.

The exhibition, themed "Mountains and Waters," features over 100 exquisite artifacts from the Cantonese Opera Art Museum, the Guangzhou Thirteen Hongs Museum, and the Guangzhou Museum. The artifacts, some on display for the first time, include Guangcai porcelain, blue and white porcelain, cloisonné enamels, ivory carvings, lacquerware, embroidery, and export fans, blending historical and cultural value with artistic beauty.

The exhibition is divided into four sections: "Charm of Mountains and Waters," "Beauty of Flora," "Excellence of Architecture," and "Poetic Life," showcasing various aspects of Lingnan gardens, such as their practicality, worldly integration, geometric water management, and architectural fusion of Chinese and Western styles.

Additionally, the exhibition's design offers an immersive experience with scenes and interactive spaces like "Listening to Summer in Pan Garden," "Shadows of Bamboo," and "Romantic Life," creating a unique experience at every turn.

Wei Wanhong, a staff member at the Cantonese Opera Art Museum, stated that the museum itself is a contemporary masterpiece of Lingnan garden design, with features such as winding courtyards, garden spaces with rockeries and ponds, and intricate decorative arts.

The exhibition connects the historic imagery of Lingnan gardens with the vibrant spirit of contemporary gardens, allowing visitors to engage in a dialogue between past and present and experience the charm of Lingnan garden culture across time and space.

The exhibition will be on display until October 18, guided by the Guangzhou Liwan District Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism, and Sports and the Guangzhou Museum Association, and hosted by the Cantonese Opera Art Museum, the Guangzhou Thirteen Hongs Museum, and the Guangzhou Museum.

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