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“The Chinese Garden Project is not only a symbol of China, it is beauty and elegance. The Chinese Garden does more than represent Chinese cultures and tradition; it represents a central attraction for Chinese-Americans.”
–Zehra Sun, Friendship Fund Committee
Jan. 2014 - New in the Chinese Garden: Two new pavilions and a rock grotto to open to the public March 8, 2014
Computer-generated rendering of the new Waveless Boat pavilion
Visitors who thought the Chinese Garden at The Huntington was beautiful already are in for another visual feast this March: the unveiling of two new pavilions and a rock grotto as part of the Phase II construction of Liu Fang Yuan.
A group of 23 artisans from Suzhou, China, worked from September through January on the three new features on the west and north sides of the lake. (The south and east sides were completed in the garden's first phase, which opened to visitors in 2008.) The new features that open to the public March 8 are a rock grotto, eloquently named Lingering Clouds Peak, that visitors can walk through as water cascades from a stream overhead, and two new tile-roofed buildings: the Waveless Boat pavilion, facing a picturesque view of the existing Jade Ribbon Bridge across the lake, and the Clear and Transcendent pavilion.
Each new feature carries with it deep symbolism and meaning:
The Clear and Transcendent pavilion(Qing Yue Tai) 清越臺
This intricately designed pavilion with an elegant roof structure is located on the north bank of the Lake of Reflected Fragrance. Its open sides are designed as a stage for music and other performances. The simple name Clear and Transcendent evokes the crystal pureness of music gently floating over the water, permeating the other structures around the lake.
Lingering Clouds Peakrock grotto (Liu Yun Xiu) 留雲岫
This rockery, called Lingering Clouds Peak, takes its name from the grotto in the elegant Lingering Garden, Liu Yuan留園, in Suzhou. Situated on the northwest side of the lake, Lingering Clouds Peak is an essential element in a Chinese garden. Its ever-lasting strength complements the garden’s water, which is ever-changing. Rocks and mountains represent stability and endurance in both Daoist and Confucian thought.
Waveless Boat pavilion (Bu Bo Xiao Ting) 不波小艇
This boat-shaped pavilion, just south of Lingering Clouds Peak on the west side of the Lake of Reflected Fragrance, provides a scenic view of the pavilions and bridges in all directions across the lake. The name, Waveless Boat, recalls a similar pavilion in the Verdant Mountain Villa, YongcuiShanzhuang擁翠山荘, a historic garden in Suzhou. The phrase “Waveless,” or bubo, is often used in literature to describe a serene atmosphere – a boat gliding effortlessly over the water.
Fundraising for the completion of Phase II remains a high priority for The Huntington. Critical elements to come include a celebration courtyard anchored by a small gallery for displaying Chinese art; a penjing court (Chinese penjing is a style of horticulture known as bonsai in Japan); and a hillside pavilion.
Jan. 2014 - Chinese Cultural Arts Celebration
Join us Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25–26, for two days of cultural discovery, as artisans and performers from China’s Zhejiang Province presented traditional music, dance, and folk crafts. Experience cup-rolling acrobatics, a tea-gatherers’ dance, and songs of dragon boats. Watch folk artists demonstrate dragon lantern making, bamboo root carving, stone and clay sculpting, and embroidery. Sample authentic Chinese cuisine and enjoy special exhibits of stunning photography and beautiful penjing. Hours for the event are from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days, and all activities are included with general admission.
The Chinese Cultural Arts Celebration is made possible in part by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture, Zhejiang Provincial Department of Publicity, Beauty Media Inc., and ICN TV Network. East West Bank is the sole corporate sponsor of The Huntington’s Chinese Cultural Arts Celebration. Additional funding provided by The Justin Vajna Memorial Fund for Educational Programs in the Chinese Garden and The Cheng Family Foundation
Jan. 2014 - It's All in the Details
In a classical Chinese garden, one of the things that captivates visitors is the exquisite craftsmanship: the beautiful detail of wood carving, stone work, and tile. As construction progresses on the first portion of Phase II of the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, that craftsmanship is very much in evidence. Twenty-three artisans from Suzhou, China, have been busy since September working with ValleyCrest Landscape Companies on three new features around the edge of the lake: the Waveless Boat Pavilion, the Clear and Transcendent Pavilion, and a rock grotto known as Lingering Clouds Peak. Their skill and artistry lends a timeless beauty to the garden, evoking the classical 16th-century “scholar’s gardens” that inspired Liu Fang Yuan. Watch for these new features to open in March.
Funding for Phase II of the Garden of Flowing Fragrance is being made possible by gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and by generous in-kind donations. To date, $8 million of the $22 million goal has been received. For gifts of $100,000 or more, special name recognition is available at sites within the garden. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
A pathway is paved with a flower-patterned mosaic.
Oct. 2013 - Culture and Commerce
The Huntington hosted a ground-breaking conference in October titled Culture and Commerce Across the Pacific: A U.S.-China Dialogue, which brought together a select group of leaders to explore how cultural enterprises can form bridges of understanding and friendship. China’s vice minister of culture, Ding Wei, gave the keynote address, highlighting the importance of The Huntington’s Chinese Garden as just such a bridge. The vice minister’s speech was followed by a response from Mike Rossi, senior advisor to California Gov. Jerry Brown. Two panels of experts from Beijing and Los Angeles then explored film and popular culture, art and high culture from various angles. The day proved to be a remarkable collaboration between The Huntington, the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, with its newly arrived consul general, Liu Jian.
Pictured: Keynote speaker Ding Wei, vice minister of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.
March 29, 2013 - Oregon Couple Makes Gift of $2 Million to the Chinese Garden A major gift in support of the Chinese Garden at The Huntington is enabling the institution to move forward on the much anticipated second phase of the landmark garden’s development. Judy Yin Shih 石茵 and Joel Axelrod of Ashland, Ore., (right) have made a gift of $2 million to fund construction of the Clear and Transcendent Pavilion 清越, a traditional Chinese structure that will be one of the focal points of the garden’s cultural life. Situated at the edge of the lake on the garden’s undeveloped north side, the new 1,129-sq. ft. pavilion will serve as an open-air performance space for presentations of Chinese music, opera, and dance. Read more
Jan. 27, 2013 - Celebrating the Year of the Snake
The Huntington ushered in the Year of the Snake 2013 with two special events marking the beginning of the lunar new year. On Jan. 27, visitors had a chance to experience the music, dance, and folk crafts of China during a Cultural Arts Celebration featuring artists and performers from Jiangsu Province. Highlights included demonstrations of traditional crafts such as lantern making, silk embroidery, and sugar sculpture—a popular favorite with kids—and a performance of folk dance by the Nanjing Little Red Flowers children’s ensemble (pictured below). On Feb. 16–17, the annual Chinese New Year Festival drew enthusiastic crowds who enjoyed the colorful spectacle of lion dancers, thrilling mask-changing performances (bian lian), tea tastings, and much more. The Garden of Flowing Fragrance, Liu Fang Yuan, was the focal point of many of the events. For Chinese and non-Chinese visitors alike, it was an auspicious way to start a new year.
East West Bank was the corporate sponsor for both events. The Chinese Cultural Arts Celebration was made possible in part by Jiangsu Cultural Association and the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, Beauty Media Inc., and ICN TV Network. Additional funding provided by the Justin Vajna Memorial Fund for Education Programs in the Chinese Garden.
Dec., 2012 - Phase Two Moves Forward
In December, The Huntington hosted a working visit from two key members
of the Chinese design team that is developing plans for Phase II of Liu
Fang Yuan, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance 流芳園. Fengchun He 賀鳳春,
president of the Suzhou Institute of Landscape Architectural Design
蘇州園林設計院有限公司, and Liurong Feng 馮留榮, vice general manager of Suzhou Garden
Development Company 蘇州園林發展股份有限公司, spent several days meeting with
project staff and gave an evening presentation to a group of donors to
share some of their ideas for the garden’s next stage.
“There is no substitute for in-person meetings with our colleagues
from China,” said Laurie Sowd, vice president for operations. “During
their visit, we spent hours working through drawings for the next phase,
walking the site, and planning difficult engineering tasks. The visit
of Ms. He and Mr. Feng also served to renew and strengthen old
friendships and continue the trusting relationship that has made Liu
Fang Yuan such a success.”
Air China, a generous corporate partner during Phase I, provided
round-trip air transport from China for these visitors. “The Chinese
Garden at The Huntington is a landmark for cultural exchange between
China and the United States,” said the company’s vice president, Zhihang
Chi. “Air China is honored to be part of it.”
Nov. 2012 - New Flavors, Traditional Elegance
There are some delightful scents wafting through the Garden of Flowing Fragrance these days, and they’re coming from the tea shop. A new chef, Henry Ng (known for his former restaurant, Chuen Hing) has given the menu a gourmet makeover, with delicious offerings that include aromatic garlic shrimp spring rolls, Cantonese short rib soup with rice noodles, savory barbecue chicken with satay sauce, wok-fried white fish, chicken chow mein, and ginger green beans. In addition to the upgraded cuisine, the teahouse itself, known as the Hall of the Jade Camellia, has acquired some new Ming-style furniture that adds a touch of traditional elegance to the dining experience. The furnishings were made possible by a gift from Xiang Li and Lei Pei. Stop by the Chinese Garden on your next visit and enjoy a memorable meal in an incomparable setting.
Oct. 2012 - Celebrating the Mid-Autumn moon at a Gala hosted by the Hong Kong Association of Southern California
A gala hosted by the Hong Kong Association of Southern California and sponsored by Bloomingdales was held in the Chinese Garden on October 3rd to celebrate the Mid-Autumn moon. Some 200 guests enjoyed live traditional Chinese music while dining on fare by Panda Catering and inspired by “Chinese night market street food.”
Sept. 2012 - Family Memories Inspire a Generous Gift
“Among my prized possessions are three passports belonging to my grandmother, Marian Prentice Huntington, who was the youngest of Henry E. Huntington’s four children. The passports document her travels from 1935 to 1962, when she visited many countries around the world, including Japan, India, Thailand, French Indochina, [and] Ceylon.”
So wrote the traveler’s namesake, Marian Huntington Schinske, after visiting The Huntington last spring. Although it’s uncertain whether her grandmother traveled to China during her lifetime, Schinske herself was delighted by The Huntington’s homage to China with its Chinese Garden—perhaps having inherited a family fascination with the Far East.
Returning home to the Bay Area after her visit, Schinske discussed with her sisters, Elizabeth Huntington and Julie Huntington de Polo, the idea of supporting the Chinese Garden. As the newest addition to the estate their great-grandfather founded, it beautifully complements the Japanese Garden he established 100 years ago. The sisters embraced the idea, and a $100,000 pledge for the second phase of construction was made through the John Brockway Huntington Foundation. The foundation was named after their father, Marian Huntington’s adopted son. An additional pledge of $100,000 was made to support the Library’s research programs.
“We are fortunate and extremely honored to have the Huntington family’s support and to recognize them on our donor wall,” said Edmond H. Pi, chairman of the President’s Council for the Chinese Garden at The Huntington. “This generosity from the founder’s family is a real vote of confidence that will speak volumes to the Chinese community, which cherishes family above all.”
Feb., 2012 - Diplomatic Visit
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich hosted a luncheon at The Huntington in February for local leaders who were invited to meet Luo Zhijun, Party Secretary for China’s Jiangsu Province, who was in Southern California as part of Vice President Xi Jinping’s Economic Trade Delegation. Luo toured the Munger Research Center and the Library Exhibition Hall with Huntington President Steve Koblik, and then spent some time in the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, guided by curator June Li. Among the guests in attendance at the luncheon were Richard Sun, then vice mayor (now mayor) of San Marino; Edward Cai, president of the Chinese American Federation; L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca; Mickey Segal, vice mayor of Arcadia; and Johnny Zhang Anqiang, chairman of Doron Technology and one of the newest major donors to Phase Two of the Chinese Garden.
Party Secretary Luo Zhijun (second from right) listens to music in the Chinese Garden with (from left) Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Johnny Zhang Anqiang, and Huntington President Steve Koblik. Photo courtesy of Fresh Events Company.