China Seminar | 8 November 2006

Shuixiang: China’s Water Country

Daniel W. Y. Kwok Daniel W. Y. Kwok

The China Seminar may remember talks on the classical Chinese garden by Daniel Kwok and others in the recent past. Today’s presentation offers a visual excursion in the water landscape which inspired the classical garden craft. The locale is the Lower Yangzi River Delta, an area interlaced with waterways and picturesque towns going back more than a thousand years. Ming China’s famed landscape architect Ji Cheng was born in Tongli, one of six such towns to be visited in this presentation. Chinese refer to this whole area as Jiangnan, South of the River, rhapsodized over the ages in imperial visits as well literati reminiscence.

Daniel W. Y. Kwok is founder/convener of the China Seminar. A professor emeritus of history at the University of Hawaii, he taught Chinese intellectual history, Asian and World History. At the university since 1961, he served as Director of Asian Studies, Director of the Center of Chinese Studies, Chair of the History Department. His main publications are Scientism in Chinese Thought, 1900-1950; Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution; Urbane Imagination: Ideas of Civilization in the Chinese Garden; Vegetable Roots Discourse (with Robert Aitken).