CLP 13: 1990 “Gardens in Chinese Painting.” Society for Asian Art, S.F


GARDENS  lecture (San Francisco, Society for Asian Art, Feb. 1990)

Want to talk about ptgs of gardens more than about gardens. Not by any means an authority on latter; in this company, wouldn't presume to sound like one.

Ptgs and gardens have close links in China. Beginning w. Yuan yeh by Chi Ch'eng, written between 1631 and 1634 (first garden treatise in China), idea that garden should be like ptg expressed over and over. From general ref.-cracks in stone like ts'un-fa. etc.--to specific quotations from known ptgs. Man who built garden to spend time in, as sequestered place, thought of self as inhabiting work of art, w. all the attendant sense of escaping from real world w. all its cares & clutter. Close affinities between gardens & ptgs affirmed, enhanced this feeling. Garden designers were often painters-Shih-tzu-lin built after monk Wei Tse consulted Ni Tsan, Chu Te-jun, Chao Yuan, and Hsu Pen; Wen Cheng-ming took part in planning of Cho-cheng Yuan (still in Suchou), Shih-t'ao was garden designer in late years, etc.

Also, lots of artists painted gardens; many such ptgs extant. Major source of information about old gardens that have long disappeared. They are my topic today; and among them I concentrate on one: album of twenty scenes of Chih Garden (Garden for Stopping) painted in 1627 by Suchou artist Chang Hung.

S,S.  Whole (bad slide-better one later) and detail. First leaf; bird's-eye view. I will argue, and try to convince you, that this album isn't just another set of garden pictures like the others; that it's incomparably the best visual evidence we have for a great garden from the greatest period of the Chinese garden, the late Ming, corresponding almost exactly in time with the earliest treatise I mentioned, the Yuan yeh.

Bird's-eye view like this already gives us lots of info, about how garden was laid out-plan. Did garden designers use views of this kind, along with map-like diagrams? Probably so, altho info, we have suggests ptgs ordinarily done after garden completed, at request of owner, who wants representation of it as well as garden itself. Bird's-eye view of course allowed kind of view that even owner couldn't have, more elevated than physically possible. Charles Jencks, in his good essay on "Meanings of the Chinese Garden" (at end of Keswick book), writes: "Although there is a complicated order that can finally be perceived, the Chinese did not lay out their gardens to be conceptualized from above, in a cerebral helicopter, as the French and Italians did. The Chinese garden was to be perceived as a linear sequence, 'the scroll ptg you enter in fancy …”       Much truth in this. And yet, here is Chang Hung looking down at garden as if from cerebral helicopter. Unusual, true; and to show that, I'll begin w. survey of other kinds of garden ptgs in China.

S,S. Question of when garden ptgs in China begins depends on how we define, identify them. Candidate for early example is scroll in Nelson Gal. attrib. to Ma Yuan; Marc Wilson, writing abt it, suggests it is depiction of party in estate of Chang Tzu, very rich man who gave parties nr. West Lake in Hangchou. Opens, as one begins to unroll it, on shore of lake? people approaching; old man and servant.

S,S. Rolling on: central section. People gathered around table, where someone doing calligraphy. Others have withdrawn from group, (etc.) Form: approach; move into garden, thru central area, out at end. Central area most interesting, most going on; linger there. So parallels experience of visitor; like "linear" experience of garden Jencks talks about. Most famous of all scholarly-gathering ptgs, "Elegant Gathering in West Garden," prob. took this form, judging from extant versions: one moves into the garden, pauses to participate or observe, moves out: just as visit to garden represents demarcated passage in one's life, so does unrolling a handscroll representation of a garden. Garden itself: not cultivated, "built" garden; more like passage of nature, with only minimal additions.

S,S.  Similar work from early 15c: by Hsieh Huan, court artist, "Literary Gathering in Apricot Gathering," done in 1437. Two versions: one in China more complete (slides). Other in col. of H.C.Weng.   Opening (Zhenjiang Mus. version): artist himself, two ' others, approaching garden.

S,S. Central section, ending (servants preparing...)

S . This somewhat more garden-like,   built up, than one in Ma Yuan scroll. Furniture, garden rocks brought in, etc.   But artist's attn. occupied with series of people & things. Again, like 2-dimensional movement toward, into, through, out of garden: seeing only what is visible in one direction, as one moves through. Really, of course, materials of ptg chosen & presented that way by artist, to give that effect, re-create that kind of experience.

These could alternatively be classified in the scholarly gathering genre. But can be used for visual evidence of gardens. This genre seems to have preceded ptgs

of gardens proper-garden is setting before it is subject of ptg (as with landscape generally: serves as setting for human activity before becomes subject in itself.) Chen Congzhou begins first of his five essays on gardens by dividing them into two kinds: those for "in-position viewing," that is, lingering observation from fixed viewpoint; and those for "in-motion viewing," that is, moving observation from changing angles. Comments that small gardens usually the former, large gardens usually the latter. Often observed that Japanese gardens are typically more for contemplation from fixed vantage point; tend to be smaller (small island, after all). Also, not so much for participation: sit on verandah and gaze at it. Chinese definitely for use sometimes quite vigorous or even boisterous: drunken parties, etc. Chinese erotic albums usually include scenes of such goings-on in gardens; can't say how much this really happened, but I could show you lots of pictures of it. (won't.) Hard to imagine this happening in Japanese garden; no furniture of kind that would make it comfortable, and also, one would be afraid of upsetting the aesthetic balance. Chinese garden more accommodating in this way.

Anyway, handscroll is logical form for this kind of garden picture. Will show a few more:

S,S. Sun K'o-hung, "The Stone Table Garden," 1572 (in this museums-done for a certain Lü Ya-shan.  In long dedicatory insc. after it, Sun tells how Mr. Lü, whom he had known since his youth, never entered official service, altho he was educated in the classics, but lived at home. His garden, Sun says, was most beautiful in the region. In west part of it he cultivated a long grove of thousands of tall bamboo plants and placed among these a large stone table, building a pavilion over it. On nights of the full moon he would assemble his friends there to play games and compose poems. Sun's ptg offers leisurely walk thru garden: opens outside, short passage of bare terrain;/then thru arched gate. Two cranes beside pond. Ornamental rocks (rocks from Sun's own garden still to be seen in Sung-chiang). Walk thru another gate, over stone bridge, emerge into open space before Stone Table, where Mr. Lii sits leaning on railing, watching servant boy water potted plants. Behind him on stone table are antique bronze vessels, inkstone, case of books. Then path disappears into bamboo; beyond is west gate of garden. Outside, visitor approaching with servant.

In earlier works, garden seemed more piece of land set off, kept natural in large part, altho rocks, outdoor furniture etc. assembled there; little sign of obvious artifice, arrangement. Now, more arranged,  but still with some effect of naturalness.

S,S. Another good example of this type, from late period: scroll by Hsii-ku, dtd. 1834, Mei-hua shu-wu (Plum Blossom Studio—old name adopted by some gentleman for his garden.) People approach gate of garden—invited by owner, host. Then grove of blossoming trees-strolling through, getting in right mood.

S,S. Thru gate, into garden: trees more profuse, colorful; rockery; man waiting by stone table, heating tea; servant boy sweeping. Beyond, bldg where they will sit, talk, drink more tea.

S. Last sec'n takes us outside again. Again, reproduces experience of passing thru garden; ptg records what we would see (highly selectively) as we move through and out.  

S,S. Another common type, but of less interest to us, so I'll show only briefly, is rep. by this ptg by Wen Cheng-ming, dtd. 1549, rep. Chen Shang Chai (Studio- of True Appreciation); scroll in Shanghai Museum. Abbreviated form of garden representation, really portrayal of someone's dwelling in seclusion; includes only essential elements, schematically; little interest in portrayal of garden as such. Like visiting type; but tells us little. Lots of these.

S,S. Shih-tzu lin (Lion Grove) Garden handscroll ptd in 1373 by Ni Tsan and Chao Yuan. Discussed by Maggie Keswick in her book. May be first extant example of real portrayal of garden itself. A bit different from those we've seen: artists assume more elevated vantage point, not down there in garden walking through it; insteading of seeing part by part; can see whole plan. Artists reportedly involved in planning of garden; maybe"-this records their plan? In any case, first ptg that really shows us, even in simplified form, layout of garden. Entrance from right; to rockery—some like this can be seen today (although present-day Shih-tzu-lin in Suchou a very different work). Sets off small house at toplike retreat at top of towering mountain. Different conception; conveying info, abt garden, more than how one experiences it.

S,S. 18c depiction of same by court artist named Ch'ien Wei-ch'eng, who tells us in his long insc. that he received imperial command, during Ch'ien-lung Emperor's imperial tour to south in 1757, to visit this garden (which Emp. and ptr. both knew from Ni Tsan & Chao Yuan ptg), do updated, more complete version of it. This, also, has more distant viewpoint, more picture-map-like character. Again, shows terrain one traverses to get to garden (but more impersonal, removed, not like real experience now);

S,S. When we get to garden proper, more info, than before—can really understand placement of walls, ponds, rocks, etc. Artist describes all these in his long insc; ends: "Mysterious and profound, completed by heaven, within a few acres are aspects of a thousand miles. What was painted by Ni Tsan was only one particular corner — what is called 'taking the dissimilar as a likeness.'" Imperial insc. dtd. 1674. But in spite of richness of detail, etc., rather disappointing as garden ptg: very conventional; houses etc. as type-forms; one doesn't trust artist to be telling us truth abt garden. Useful to garden designer? Or to historian, who might start with Ni Tsan/Chao Yuan ptg; go on to album of scenes of Shih-tzu Lin attrib. to Hsu Pen (but somewhat later—no slides); then this; and end with modern garden. Only case in which one could theoretically do history of garden over six centuries? Suggest to someone as project.

S. Ch'ien Wei-ch'eng's ptg. too much like picture-map (modern-day one; Cho-cheng Yuan)

S,S. Yuan Chiang scroll in Shanghai Mus. subject of study by Nieh Ch'ung-cheng. Beautiful—tells layout—but one longs to move in, look around. But of course can't do that in ptg—or can one?

S,S. Another example of this type, which tells us more abt. layout of garden, is this scroll in Nanking Museum, attrib. to Ch'iu Ying but prob. by follower—anonymous work of, perhaps, later 16th cent. Provides us with more info. abt. how such a garden was used. Activities detached from real-life concerns, as work of art is. In work, can enact w/o consequences; so in garden? competitions, creativity... Garden not only for contemplation. Some on terrace, upper r., gazing off at distant scenery—others below, re-creating Lan-t'ing (Orchid Pavilion) Gathering— (only two on bank! four or five servants.)

S.S. Bird's-eye view, again, somewhat schematic. Single, or moving, vantage point, as if passing over in sky—People in house, one doing calligraphy; others outside leaning on railing, reading.

S. At end, pond w. geese; two scholars on edge? of garden, looking out? safe kind of participation in outside world—completely controlled environment. Key is selection: just as you select rocks, trees, plants, buildings, construct own world, so can you select s friends to invite, activities you encourage —matter of narrowing  real experiences to those you choose, instead of those that everyday life thrusts rudely upon you. Universal ideal.

S,S. Scroll now in Cleveland Mus. by Ch'iu Ying, early 15c, after older model: Tu-lo Yuan, Garden of Solitary Pleasure, of Ssu-ma Kuang, Sung statesman who retired there after life of public service. Type is early; series of views; owner of garden appears in one after another. Scroll comprised of succession of images of ways in which man enjoys garden. No sense of spatial continuity, or of how parts of garden related to each other.

S.S. At end, place for gazing at distant mts; standard element in garden pictures; allows visual escape from garden, expands its boundaries. (Explored in Ellen Laing's paper.)

S.S.  One of notable garden handscrolls is Wu Pin's (late Ming master I've been variously engaged with over the years—one of his most spectacular works in this museum.) Here, depicting the Shao Garden of his patron Mi Wan-chung. (If I tell you that this site is now occupied by Peking University, you will realize how much has changed.)  One enters garden at right, in conventional way; path winds around, thru another gate, over arched bridge.

S.S.Into main area of garden, with people strolling and sitting. Ptd. in 1615, twelve years before Chang Hung's album; similar layout to garden? We could begin to write about period style in gardens with a few paintings like these. Grand garden; number of figures suggests Mi Wan-chung entertained on lavish scale. Elevated view, as in Nanking scroll, that conveys something of plan of garden combined with lots of detail. But highly conventionalized; Wu Pin famous for LS w. strong element of fantasy; one doesn't know how much to believe. Seems unlikely that he is describing accurately what he sees.

S,S. Mi Wan-chung was rock enthusiast; but unlikely that even he could have any in garden quite so huge, bizarre, as these. Especially in Peking? Two-storey hall w. guests enjoying vistas—

S. In final section, move outside garden again; travelers along a canal?

S,S. So much for handscroll, "linear" representation of garden. Another form, which had some advantages over this, was that of album. Series of views, seen as one turns successive leaves; each of these limited in scope. This is example in Nanking Mus. attrib. to Shen Chou (but not by him), representing, supposedly, garden called Tung Chuang, "Eastern Lodge," belonging to his friend Wu K'uan. 21 leaves (of orig. 24). Complicated problem: some leaves correspond in comp. to leaves in albums attrib. to his follower Wen Cheng-ming. But not our concern.

S,S. More leaves. This form takes us down into garden, allows us to look in different directions, at different scenes in garden. But limitations of its own: no way to connect, understand how garden is constructed, how parts relate to each other, how one gets from one scene to another, w/in space of garden. Quite a few of this type exist, attrib. to Wen C-m and others. (Cho-cheng Yuan garden in Met .) Won't spend time on them.

All of these form in dif. Degrees schematic, conventional, limited in informative value.   Bird's-eye view maplike, doesn't give enough close-in info, on individual scenes or sec'ns of garden; album that shows indiv. scenes doesn't tell us enough abt whole layout of garden, and how these parts fit into it. Need, ideally, work that combines these. How could this best be accomplished?

S,S. Before showing Chang Hung's album as answer to this question, want to show scroll quite unrelated in subject, ptd. in 1610 by Wu Pin. (Chang & Wu both artists I've written extensively about, over the years, tried to give them their due after some centuries of neglect.) Wu Pin's patron Mi Wan-chung, as I said, was collector of strange rocks; acquired one of specially bizarre and fascinating shape, asked Wu Pin to paint it? Result is this scroll, which sold in most recent Sotheby's auction for $1.1 million. Wu responded by depicting the rock ten times, from different angles—same rock, that is—as if turning., (computer). Now, obviously, sheer quantity of info, increased…

S,S. Could construct rock from visual info, contained in this scroll. (Seen from below, somewhat foreshortened—but Wu not good at that.) Point: quasi-scientific, systematic visual exploration. Very un-Chinese project. I'm convinced it isn't purely Chinese; Wu Pin, like others in his time (notably Chang Hung), clearly affected by new ideas from Europe, transmitted in engravings and other pictures brought by Jesuits— (previous lectures and writings; won't go through again.)

S,S. Chang Hung's album, done 17 years later, in 1627, has similar program, or plan. Chang is another ptr in late Ming who... (etc., Compelling Image.)

I've been fascinated by this album for some forty years, trying to understand how it works.  Complicated by recent history of it. Hochstadter. Richard Hobart. Franco Vannotti: 8 leaves; 12 to Hobart. Vannotti's: in our 1971 Restless Landscape exhib. and catalog. These now in Berlin Museum. 12 remained in Hobart collection (etc.) 6 now in Ching Yuan Chai (mine); 4 owned by Hobart's daughter in Washington D.C.; 2 in Los Angeles County Museum. (Bring together?) Have been assembling material, reaching further levels of understanding; have never before presented this in public. Grateful for chance to do so. What you will see is only complete set of color slides? First presentation of it as a whole. Can only be done this way, in lecture; no use in published paper, as you'll see; series of slide-shows? of which this is first. If not entirely clear in   BEV slide—I worked from enlarged photograph.

Beside it: leaf from alb. by Ch'ien Ku, late 16c, conventional plan (etc.) Chang Hung's BEV not like this.

S. Picture of city of Frankfort from Braun & Hogenberg, Civitates Orbis Terrarum. 1572 and later; brought to China by Jesuits. (Show.) Obvious; resistance to this is remarkable. Question of Eur. inf., trying to persuade people, doesn't interest me much any more; visual evidence inescapable; if people want to resist, in spite of this, their problem. People somewhere still believing earth is flat—pointless to go on trying to convince them it's round.

Where was Chih Garden? We don't really know, in spite of much looking, asking around among knowledgeable. Chen Congzhou couldn't tell me; sent him photos & slides, no response. Ghih-Garden. Suchou? Chang Hung lived there; canals, walls. Nanking? Chang there-ptd. Ch'i-hsia Ssu near there. Clearly an urban site, city with wall. Have to leave open. Any way to determine direction? identify wall, or round structure in it? -v

Anyway, great garden in loop of canal? River? In urban setting.

Can't answer these questions. But can say: this album is best visual record we have of major garden from great period; few years before composition of Yuan yeh in early 1630s. Putting these two works together—visual materials of album, literary materials of essay-prob. have the equivalent, for understanding of Ch. garden, of Fan K'uan and Kuo Hsi ptgs of 1lc. together with Kuo Hsi's treatise, for understanding high point of Ch LS ptg. I can't really claim to put them together ideally-that needs specialist, lots of time.

Leaves of album unnumbered, as usual in albums; could have been re-shuffled any number of times in over 3-1/2 centuries since they were painted. Can reconstruct sequence only hypothetically, by assuming artist is taking us on systematic guided tour of garden.

S. So, let's do that, begin Chang Hung's tour. Move down to lower r. corner; now located above dike with willows, looking over at gate to garden, and another? (leads to someone else's garden? anyway, out of ptg. ) Chi Ch'eng remarks that curving embankments are suitable for willow-trees. (Could match much of album with remarks he makes, but I won't do this throughout, for lack of time. Might be interesting to do edition of his text with illustrations from Chang Hung's album.) This leaf also bears title: next in order after BEV. First, second, and last leaves inscribed.

S. Moving in closer (detail of previous slide): people visible; servants at gates, visitor, people in boat, porter w. load. Still outside garden proper.

S. Moving inside, 3rd leaf? place where path from gate leads over bridge, along shore of pond to left; another waterway to right. Groves of bamboo; small house lower r; now we see people inside. Artist shows us more & more, while keeping w/in whole plan. First view of owner of garden and guest? talking in house in lower right.

S. We shift our gaze leftward, over pond; path along shore of pond at right; bridge, houses beyond pond. At our left, covered walkway; little rock island w. t'ing-tzu lower left. Chi Ch'eng says in his treatise that for every ten parts of land, three should be made into a pond, of irregular shape so that it is interesting. True of Chih Garden? About 30% pond?

S. Detail of this. Owner again? w. servant, gazing over pond; rockery behind, seen over trees, as in BEV. (I can hear some of Chinese in audience, or people who have absorbed Chinese visual attitudes, crying out silently: bad brushwork! bad brushwork! And can only reply, as I often do: that is exactly what gives ptgs their special interest and value. Absence of brush conventions, typeforms etc. makes more trustworthy as visual evidence for garden—unlike Wu Pin etc. in this. If Chang Hung had devoted himself to satisfying standard criteria of good brushwork, couldn't have achieved what he did; we would be confronted by conventional forms, not what we have here, which reads as a report of first-hand observation. Chang Hung almost determinedly un-literary in this album (altho he was perfectly literate, as we know from inscriptions he wrote on other works): no titles on individual leaves, no calligraphy, only three very simple inscriptions; what he is doing is showing us what the garden looks like. This visual approach is just what makes the album remarkable, in context of Chinese painting.

S.Now: suppose you are sitting in pavilion on far side of other pond, to left, looking back: see railing in front of you, covered walkway bldg. at end, on left; willow trees lining pond, other leafy trees beyond, and—roofs of bldgs. seen before, over tops of trees! Now we begin to realize amazing project Chang Hung is undertaking:  what he sees, from any vantage point, is what he depicts. Profoundly un-Chinese project;   never an assumption behind ptgs that one paints something because it is there. As if scientific, as if going about w. camera, recording what is visible from each place. Shifts point of view; like Wu Pin, sees same things from dif. angles.

S. Detail of further sec'n. What had been ruled out of Ch. ptg generally was accidental, what corresponds to real visual experience; so also in most Western art, until 19c or so. Now that limitation broken; artist like camera.

S. Now, supposing we are poised above & to right of rockery, looking into space bet. it & pavilion that faces pond—into space hidden, in BEV; more trees beyond small pond, small two-storey bldg in lower right.

S. As if from top of rockery, one looks over small pond w. water lilies—balustrade, w. broad opening, rocky bank—horiz. bldg, leafy trees on either side; path at right leading to it; in distance, over trees, top of pagoda.

S. Looking back from that bldg—same railing w. broad opening, across small pond, to rockery—leafy trees at r. now, two-storey pavilion at left.

S. Now where are we? Ah: in same place, poised above bldg, looking leftward (in   terms of BEV): greenhouse? of trellis-work, seen in whole; bridge over small canal; bldg. that covered walkway leads to—seen from dif. angle in earlier ptg. Big trees. Behind trees, thatched t'ing-tzu (gazebo, whatever)-

S. This may be one that appears in this leaf-a bit higher up, in BEV, again looking leftward—another at left, willows in front; bldg. w. tiled roof, upturned at ends of eaves, others set back-as in BEV. Trees w. tall trunks, repeated, along right, correspond w. those at further extreme of garden in BEV.

S. Looking back twd pagoda in upper r. of BEV: (one of LACMA leaves): small stone arched bridge now in FG, smaller rockery, pagoda in upper left, stone lantern below. Old man w. staff, servant, below at right.

S. Where are we now? I suspect, in upper r. of BEV, or even slightly outside, looking back thru leafy trees; pagoda appears dimly above. Servant waits for guests? another approaches. Another entrance to garden? Too far, in BEV, to be depicted in detail—

S. Here, upper right, looking upward=back, knoll w. short, straight-stalked bushes? in lower right; banks w. leafy trees at left; low bldg beyond, partly cut off in BEV.

S. With this leaf, I think we are looking down into cluster of bldgs courtyards that is behind and to left of pavilion at end of biggest pond—again, not clear in BEV-flowers among rocks now; master and guest. Chang Hung gets perspective wrong; but he's trying. One of most attractive leaves, in Berlin (former Vannotti) group.

S. Just to left of this, beyond tall cypress? trees, large hall; again one looks down, sees master & guest, or at least, two scholarly gentlemen wearing officials' hats. This may be the "great hall" which every complete garden must have, according to Chi Ch'eng's treatise.

S. Detail of this. One is given privileged glimpses inside, behind, around, trees & other obstacles that block view in BEV. Leaves of album provide series of revelations abt the garden; one feels one is penetrating it, part by part; but only as observor, distanced.

S. Now, moving forward & to left: looking down into courtyard onto which bldg. w. two-storey porch faces; canopy propped on poles; servant sweeping; women? outside picking? flowers. Again, perspective off; but effect of scene viewed from single, located vantage point.

S.Detail. Latticework pattern of railing in lower storey; table above, with  antique bronze kuei vessel? bowl. Woman picking flowers? others turn to watch.

S. If we turn to look back—as I think we are doing here—at pavilion w. double terrace in front, facing onto large pond—season has changed, spring? blossoming trees. Bit of cut-off wall at bottom, corresponding to wall w. gate in BEV, as if arbitrarily cut—"camera eye," as in other leaves of album. This quite remarkable in itself. Master, guest, servant, seen thru window.

S. From same point, looking downward: gate in wall, bridge, bamboo grove; waterway leads off to left (right in slide) to join canal; path winds thru trees.

S. One more of Berlin Museum leaves—haven't located absolutely, but suspect it belongs around behind, another entrance to garden. Tall trees seem to match up. But uncertain. If I'm right, have moved outside garden, looking back at back entrance. Fishermen suggest that—not proper inside garden.

S. And finally, in what I'm fairly sure is last leaf in series, we have moved once more outside garden, across canal. Large bldg among leafy trees, with master and guest, still; pedestal in courtyard below for potted plant? taken in for winter. Two-storeyed porch of bldg behind, seen over trees, was main subject of earlier leaf, now minor element in this one. Season has turned to winter; grey in sky and on water.  In FG, roofs of bldgs on opposite side of canal from garden; flag from one indicates wine-shop. Man w. straw hat & cape poles boat loaded boat.  We are back among common people—fishermen, boarmen, workers—our time in privileged enclave over. Trees growing out from wall—familiar sight, acc. to Walter Hochstadter. And, suitably, longest insc. on this last leaf, w. date corresponding to 1627, summer month, done for a certain Hui-shan Tz'u-tsung: man skilled in literary composition. Flattering epithet for patron. Haven't identified; must be owner of garden.

So, I've come to end of talk w/o really explaining to you, in detail, what this tells us about late Ming gardens. Must leave that for proper specialists.  Nor have I really addressed as seriously as I should have, the issues of quality in the album, and of purpose, or function – why did the recipient want an album that explored the garden so thoroughly. What I've tried to do is show you how album works. Pieces fit together like pieces of puzzle-all there? Not quite; but enough— I've puzzled most of it out (w. feeling I was responding to challenge set by Chang Hung: can you discover all that I've hidden here?) More could certainly be figured out with more time. But what I've shown should be enough to substantiate my claim at beginning: that this is by far most complete visual evidence surviving for a great Chinese garden. Wouldn't be entirely joking to suggest that entire garden could be reconstructed somewhere, in actuality, from information in Chang Hung's ptgs. Maybe unsuitable for public garden, and too grand for private one in today's world, so isn't going to happen. But only opportunity to re-create major traditional garden; and if city of Suchou decides to take on this project, I'll offer my services as advisor.

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