A Chinese classical garden, as a work of art of spontaneity, is more than the designer’s composition of geometric complexity and contrast. It symbolizes the owner’s characters and reflects his/her philosophy of life as well.
This garden design was inspired by two mainstream genres of traditional Chinese philosophies—Taoism and Confucianism.
Employing the concept of estrangement, the design reflected a balanced fusion of the two philosophies and unification of nature and society.
Distance, whether physical or non-physical one, maintains the completeness and independence of the two philosophies.
The estrangement approach realizes the synthesis of the two philosophies: Confucianism, with humanism at its heart, it focuses on the virtue and ethics of the community. Humanity, righteousness, propriety, knowledge, integrity are the basic principles; Taoism, Taoism pursues the unity of man and nature and conformity to the Tao of nature—an individual is to the universe what a speck of pollen is to a dandelion.
The master can seclude himself from the world while retain his concern of the society; the garden gains artificial form as well as natural atmosphere; the design satisfies the functional needs as well as the spiritual ones.