“Unscholarly” Gardens: Rethinking the Gardens of China

Posted on Feb. 29, 2020

The image of a "Chinese garden" that most often comes to mind is that of the white-walled, gray-tiled gardens built by scholar-officials and merchants in the city of Suzhou during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Despite its iconic status in the contemporary imagination, the Suzhou-style scholar's garden is only one type among many. Exploring "unscholarly" spaces such as monastic gardens, merchant gardens, medicinal gardens, and market gardens, this symposium challenges common assumptions about what makes a garden in China.