The 3rd Upper Yangtze River City Flower Art Expo (UCFA.) is about to start in less than a week, from Oct. 20 to 29, to be exact, at the Chongqing Garden Expo Park. This year’s event has an exhibition area of 48,000 square meters and a participation area of one million square meters, ten times the size of its previous editions in Jiangbeizui CBD.
As announced in Wednesday’s press conference, the UCFA2020 will have eight themed exhibition areas, including the “Master’s Backyard,” “Garden of the Future,” “Mountain City Homeland,” “Twin Cities Concerto,” “Rural Beauty,” “Craftsmen’s Attic,” “Flower Dome,” and “Variety Lifestyle.”
Mountain of Clouds
“There are no rivers to one who has crossed oceans, and no clouds to one who has climbed Mount Everest.” These are the two verses from the Five Poems of Departure Thoughts, written by a Tang Dynasty poet Yuan Zhen. “This is also my imagination for the garden and my understanding of the magic city of mountains and rivers,” said Wang Xiangrong, designer of the “Mountain of Clouds” exhibit.
In Wang’s garden, lucid waters are winding through the lush plants, with modern materials such as metal meshes intertwined with one another to create a swirling and pointing cloudy mountain. Visitors can ramble through the misty lanes with flowers and plants decorated on both sides and rivers running down beneath, activating our ineffaceable inner longings for getting closer to mother nature.
The Passing Skiff
The design’s main structure is an eight-meter-high metal mountain piercing through layers of cloud, with rivers seemingly pouring down from the sky and cutting through the gorges. Visitors can take a walk under the water and around the garden, with panoramic views that would make us reappreciate our ancestors’ wisdom of living in harmony with nature.
The passing skiff concept is a reference to the verses from “Poet Immortal” Li Bai’s Early Morning Journey off the White Emperor City: “The screams of monkeys on either bank had scarcely ceased echoing in my ear when my skiff had left behind it ten thousand mountain ranges.”
Li Bai’s words give a vivid description of the lofty mountains and precipitous ridges along the Three Gorges waterway, leaving people deeply impressed by the grandeur of the scenery. “That’s also the impression I intend to leave on the audience in my work,” said Zhu Yufan, chief architecture and designer of “The Passing Skiff.”
Zhu, also a professor and deputy dean of the Garden Landscape Department under Tsinghua University’s School of Architecture, sees Chongqing as a city with a unique geographic pattern of intersecting mountains, rivers, and human activities. The reason Zhu took inspiration from the Three Gorges is that “it’s an exact epitome of the city’s landscape and a name card for Chongqing to introduce itself to the world.”
Garden of the Future
The Jiangbei Garden intends to explore the Oriental human dwelling philosophy of quality lifestyle with its “Family Therapy” and “Community Symbiosis” subsidiary gardens.
Sitting on the periphery, the family-based garden features the four scenarios of “Parent-Child Relationship,” “Health Maintaining Regime,” “Silent Retrospective Thoughts,” and “Familial Affections and Attachments,” depicting a picture scroll of humankind living in harmony with nature.
While the community-based garden is located at the center stage, which faces up to the waning interpersonal connections and the various side effects of urbanization and modern technological advances, this garden creates a friendly community to encourage people to walk out of their solitary lifestyle and start connecting with other people, according to the designer of the garden. “We believe this community garden can effectively enhance people’s sense of belonging and identification toward the city.”
The Liangjiang Garden integrates Chongqing’s traditional name card of being a mountain river city and its modern name card. It is a smart city to display a futuristic garden city with natural, artistic, and technological elements.
The garden’s main structure is a multi-faceted diamond-shaped glass corridor, decorated with succulent plants and desert plants. There are also sports facilities such as automatic spraying gates, intelligent pumping springs, rowing boat machines, and dynamic bicycles in the garden.
Visitors could see these smart interface applications almost everywhere when walking into the garden. The humidity and temperature in the courtyard are automatically adjusted to a level suitable for specific plants; robots strolling the garden can pour coffee for visitors; flowers are programmed to blossom whenever approached by a person… These scenarios provide people with many more possibilities and potentials for building a sustainable garden city in the future.
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