If you have ever lived or visited Los Angeles, a nice relaxing stop is to visit the Hunting Library’s garden in San Marino. The Los Angeles Times (2/17/08) reports that the “Huntington Library’s new garden celebrates Chinese culture“:
“In the 12-acre site on the grounds of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, colorful carp glide through a shimmering lake. Chinese bamboo mingles with California live oaks. Hand-carved bridges, wooden pavilions and stone terraces feature China’s centuries-old techniques of master craftsmanship. In flowing calligraphy, the garden is given life with poetic couplets and lyrical names evoking moonlight, verdant mist and jade camellias….The garden’s $18.3-million first phase was powered by a landmark partnership between the Huntington and the region’s fast-growing and increasingly influential Chinese American community. The Huntington, long seen as a staid and largely Eurocentric institution, recognized that ethnic Chinese were rapidly changing the San Marino neighborhood — and the world — and sought the ethnic community’s help in bringing a 20-year garden vision to fruition, according to Suzy Moser, assistant vice president for advancement. “The garden is a way the Huntington can throw open its doors to an increasingly Chinese neighborhood and an increasingly Chinese world,” she said. To aid the project, the Chinese American community launched one of its broadest collective efforts to support a mainstream institution. Disregarding political and regional differences that have impeded community projects in the past, many Chinese Americans rallied to volunteer time, raise millions of dollars and use their all-important guanxi, or connections, to tap donors in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.”
I’ve visited the Huntington Library and the gardens a while ago when a good friend of mine lived fairly close by in Pasadena, California. The next time in Los Angeles, I will definitely have to check the new Chinese garden out.