Living Color China By eden plepler


For my Living Color China I went to visit the Scholar’s Garden and Study at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When walking through the garden I felt a sense of tranquility and peace. The miniature ponds, water falls and the intriguing lattice walls were calming and transported me to 15th century Taoist life. The study gave me a very different feel. The room was a heavier more serious sensation. This made sense becuase I could imagine this was a traditional set up for a Confusion.

Why do modern New Yorkers find this space appealing?

Most New Yorkers live stressful and busy lives with rare pauses throughout the day. This garden and study gives people the oppertunity to reflect and relax. This especially applies to the Taoist inspired garden. Taoists don't overthink situations and "go with the flow." New Yorkers are working constantly and this gives everyone the time to be in the moment. Although not many New Yorkers practice Taoism and Confucianism there is still an appeal to everyone who visits the garden and study about their different and interesting lifestyles.

Why is the garden important to Taoists/ Why is the study important to Confucians?

The garden has the key aspects of what a Taoists life revolves around. After studying Taoism I understand that living a peaceful and non-stressful life is very intertwined. Confucianism is a much more ridged and rule following society. The study is less inviting but is still a place to reflect and concentrate.

Why would a scholar want to have a garden?

I think that a scholar would want to have a garden becuase most people's greatest ideas and work comes from after being relaxed and not feeling stressed. A garden gives this to most people allowing a scholar to work better and more productively.

Why are both traditions in this Ming dynasty court?

When I visited the Ming dynasty court is was evident that the garden and study we're honoring and reliving the traditions of both Taoism and Confucianism. For example the study is a dark and serious room with a desk and chair. Confucians are devoted to educations which is probably why a work space makes up the room. The garden rippling water falls remind me of the concept of Manifest Tao, which is always changing and always flowing. Taoists are never restrained to one thing and follow their instincts. There is also elements of Ying and Yang all over the Garedn. Elememts of dark and light, wet and dry and other opposite forces are all over.


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