May 28, 2023


Home is a place where we can be happy

The ‘Garden of Illusion’ is a nod to Taoist philosophy

Liu Xiangcheng, a Chinese architect, claims that an best backyard garden signifies an idyllic way of lifestyle, a free of charge spirit and the thought that folks ought to be a organic portion of nature.

Liu and his colleagues made the “Garden of Illusion” at the Area of Chaumont-sur-Loire in France as a nod to the mountains and rivers that figured prominently in historical Chinese philosophy.

Out of the 24 gardens that the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Yard Competition chose for this year, this is the only just one that was developed by a Chinese workforce.

The festival is held per year in the gardens of the castles in the Loire Valley amongst April and November. The topic for this year’s celebration of its 30th anniversary is “perfect yard.”

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

The “Backyard of Illusion” at the Chaumont-sur-Loire Intercontinental Back garden Competition

Ethnic kitsch

The Tongji University postgraduate averted “ethnic kitsch” by likely further than “distinct cultural symptoms” as opposed to replicating a common Chinese backyard.

A few concentric circles may well be observed in the “Garden of Illusion” – the outer circular alleyway, the bamboo cluster in the centre and a Zen retreat encircled by bamboos in the centre.

In accordance to Liu, equally Eastern and Western cultures regularly use the circle symbol.

He claimed that in Taoist philosophy, the circle, which has no starting or close, stands in for the cosmos, nature, eternity, and harmony. Western civilization associates perfection with the circle.

The 'Garden of Illusion' is a nod to Taoist philosophy

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

Architect and urban planner Liu Xiangcheng

The architect employs concentric circles to illustrate how two civilizations could dwell peacefully in a solitary garden and to present “an best strategy of Oriental philosophy in a Western context.”

Liu utilised simplicity to include this piece with a dozen primary methods of common Chinese back garden design.

For instance, when heading via a garden, the surroundings change as you go. The visitation route is meticulously planned, winding all the way to a non-public meditation space that is concealed by bamboos.

The 'Garden of Illusion' is a nod to Taoist philosophy

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

Layers of surroundings in the backyard garden

Influenced by an legendary collection of ink-wash paintings titled “Eight Scenes of Xiaoxiang,” Liu produced the decision to depict mountains and rivers in a Zen-inspired way.

1 of the characteristics is the open up-get the job done round picket construction that lies on the interior of the alleyway. A see-by way of curtain-like set up of 240 hemp ropes is strung on the structure.

The crew was capable to replicate the rolling mountains as depicted in “Eight Scenes of Xiaoxiang” on the curtain of ropes by producing reef knots at many heights on each rope.

The paintings were being produced by Muxi, a monk and artist of the southern Music Dynasty (1127-1279), and are renowned for their unique viewpoint, which was reached by the distinction of virtual and precise sights and various ink hues.

The paintings, which depict Xiaoxiang (existing-working day Hunan Province), were being inevitably confiscated by the Shogunate federal government soon after becoming dropped to the Japanese. At present, only four pieces exist, and they are each and every conserved independently in art establishments in Japan.

As influential as his do the job is, Monk Muxi is frequently credited with bringing Zen lifestyle to Japan. Having said that, Liu pointed out that regardless of Zen culture’s Chinese roots, the French only affiliate it with Japanese tradition when you point out it to them.

“I might like to use this prospect to shatter the stereotype.”

The 'Garden of Illusion' is a nod to Taoist philosophy

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

The group was able to replicate the rolling mountains as depicted in “8 Scenes of Xiaoxiang” on the curtain of ropes by building reef knots at different heights on each individual rope.

In accordance to Liu, Zen tradition can be in comparison to karesansui, or Japanese rock gardens, as an abstraction that invitations the creativeness.

In get to simulate the glittering sunshine on the h2o, he and his workforce made use of black slippery pebbles that would replicate daylight instead than produce an true pond in the garden.

It skillfully mimics the sense of a waterside placing with out using even a drop of water, accompanied by the sporadic croaking of frogs.

The 'Garden of Illusion' is a nod to Taoist philosophy

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng


The summer season months are the finest situations for a visit. The white, yellow, and purple flowers that are found in Monet’s paintings, can be seen peeking out from amongst the ropes, though bamboo trees, an historic Chinese image for integrity, are in the heart of the yard.

“And you get started to problem precisely wherever you are.”

Liu envisioned an at any time-evolving point out for his backyard, which is reflected not only in the levels of surroundings but also in the true design. The hemp ropes practically shrink on rainy days just before loosening up following drying.

He claimed that it was a crystal clear illustration of “resilience theory” in style.

The 'Garden of Illusion' is a nod to Taoist philosophy

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

A bird’s-eye perspective of the garden

Resilience, which has its roots in physics, refers to an object’s ability to get back its sizing and condition adhering to deformation. Later, it was integrated into urban arranging and architecture.

He argued that resilience in cities refers to the ability to resume typical residing and doing work ailments in the facial area of crises and pure disasters. “For instance, did Shanghai have a properly-created supply chain to secure supplies when it went into lockdown in the course of the most latest COVID-19 outbreak?

“Will it be equipped to speedily resume manufacturing?”

Liu established the Illimité Architectes agency in Shanghai in 2018, and opened an workplace in Paris in 2021.

The 'Garden of Illusion' is a nod to Taoist philosophy

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

Site visitors wander in the backyard garden.

The “Backyard garden of Illusion” is his most recent experiment. It is lower-carbon and environmentally helpful, with 78 % environmentally friendly protection and domestically sourced timber and hemp ropes.

The team invited higher university learners to sign up for in the backyard-developing procedure, which is a different critical ingredient of citizens’ participation in the “resilient city” method. “Each citizen is each a user and a participant. To make certain that a town venture is sustainable and supports its users, they are inspired to work collectively with nearby authorities, authentic estate developers, economists, and environmentalists, among other individuals,” Liu reported.

“It is the duty of architects to reintroduce the notion of a resilient metropolis and citizen involvement in China.”