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

Liu Xiangcheng, a Chinese architect, states that an ideal backyard signifies an idyllic way of life, a no cost spirit and the plan that men and women should be a normal part of character.

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

Out of the 24 gardens that the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Backyard Festival chose for this year, this is the only 1 that was established by a Chinese staff.

The festival is held on a yearly basis in the gardens of the castles in the Loire Valley in between April and November. The theme for this year’s celebration of its 30th anniversary is “perfect backyard.”

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

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

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

Ethnic kitsch

The Tongji University postgraduate avoided “ethnic kitsch” by heading outside of “particular cultural symptoms” as opposed to replicating a standard Chinese yard.

Three concentric circles may well be observed in the “Backyard of Illusion” – the outer circular alleyway, the bamboo cluster in the middle and a Zen retreat encircled by bamboos in the heart.

According to Liu, both Japanese and Western cultures consistently use the circle image.

He reported that in Taoist philosophy, the circle, which has no commencing or conclude, stands in for the cosmos, character, 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 city planner Liu Xiangcheng

The architect makes use of concentric circles to illustrate how two civilizations could dwell peacefully in a one back garden and to current “an ideal idea of Oriental philosophy in a Western context.”

Liu made use of simplicity to incorporate this piece with a dozen basic techniques of classic Chinese yard style and design.

For occasion, when likely by means of a garden, the surroundings range as you go. The visitation route is meticulously prepared, winding all the way to a private meditation space that is concealed by bamboos.

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

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

Layers of landscapes in the backyard

Encouraged by an iconic series of ink-wash paintings titled “Eight Scenes of Xiaoxiang,” Liu produced the conclusion to depict mountains and rivers in a Zen-encouraged manner.

1 of the capabilities is the open up-do the job circular picket construction that lies on the inside of the alleyway. A see-by curtain-like set up of 240 hemp ropes is strung on the construction.

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

The paintings have been developed by Muxi, a monk and artist of the southern Music Dynasty (1127-1279), and are renowned for their distinctive standpoint, which was obtained by the distinction of digital and true sights and various ink hues.

The paintings, which depict Xiaoxiang (present-working day Hunan Province), were ultimately confiscated by the Shogunate governing administration just after being dropped to the Japanese. Presently, only 4 parts exist, and they are each and every conserved independently in artwork institutions in Japan.

As influential as his operate is, Monk Muxi is regularly credited with bringing Zen lifestyle to Japan. However, Liu observed that even with Zen culture’s Chinese roots, the French only associate it with Japanese society when you mention it to them.

“I’d like to use this probability to shatter the stereotype.”

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

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

The workforce was in a position to replicate the rolling mountains as depicted in “8 Scenes of Xiaoxiang” on the curtain of ropes by producing reef knots at a variety of heights on every rope.

According to Liu, Zen lifestyle can be when compared to karesansui, or Japanese rock gardens, as an abstraction that invitations the imagination.

In purchase to simulate the glittering sunshine on the water, he and his workforce utilized black slippery pebbles that would replicate daylight relatively than build an genuine pond in the garden.

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

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

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

Resilience

The summer months are the very best situations for a visit. The white, yellow, and purple bouquets that are located in Monet’s paintings, can be seen peeking out from involving the ropes, though bamboo trees, an historical Chinese symbol for integrity, are in the centre of the garden.

“And you start off to problem exactly exactly where you are.”

Liu envisioned an ever-evolving condition for his garden, which is reflected not only in the levels of surroundings but also in the precise layout. The hemp ropes virtually shrink on wet days ahead of loosening up just after drying.

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

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

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

A bird’s-eye look at of the back garden

Resilience, which has its roots in physics, refers to an object’s capability to regain its measurement and condition pursuing deformation. Later, it was integrated into urban arranging and architecture.

He argued that resilience in metropolitan areas refers to the capability to resume regular dwelling and performing problems in the face of crises and purely natural disasters. “For occasion, did Shanghai have a properly-developed source chain to secure supplies when it went into lockdown in the course of the most new COVID-19 outbreak?

“Will it be ready to promptly resume manufacturing?”

Liu proven the Illimité Architectes company in Shanghai in 2018, and opened an place of work in Paris in 2021.

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

Courtesy of Liu Xiangcheng

People wander in the backyard garden.

The “Back garden of Illusion” is his most recent experiment. It is small-carbon and environmentally friendly, with 78 p.c green coverage and domestically sourced timber and hemp ropes.

The workforce invited significant college college students to sign up for in the back garden-building process, which is an additional necessary component of citizens’ participation in the “resilient city” method. “Just about every citizen is equally a person and a participant. To make certain that a city task is sustainable and supports its end users, they are inspired to function jointly with community federal government, genuine estate builders, economists, and environmentalists, among others,” Liu explained.

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