China Seminar | 9 September 2004

The Artist Ye Fang and His Garden in Suzhou

Ding Ye Ding Ye

A native of Suzhou, Ding Ye was born and raised in this city noted for its rich literati tradition, refined cultivation of life, and classical scholar gardens. Graduating with a BA in English in 1984, he was accepted as a faculty member teaching English language and literature at Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute. In 1988, he was admitted as an MA candidate in History Department, University of Hawaii, where he received an MA in Chinese Intellectual History and MLIS in Library and Information Science. During the last fourteen years, Mr. Ye has worked as librarian and faculty at Hawaii Pacific University and Tokai University. Currently, he serves as Dean of Instruction at Hawaii Tokai International College, where he teaches various courses in world civilization, Asian and Chinese history on the Faculty of History. He has an intensive interest in Chinese antiques and literati connoisseurship, especially jade, porcelain and paintings.

Ye Fang, a close acquaintance but no relation, is a renowned painter of Suzhou, accomplished especially in scholar-garden paintings. He has recently completed his own house-garden, recapturing classical forms and spirit in modern Suzhou, and returning the classical Chinese garden to its role as a center of cultural life.