Potted Landscape (Pénjǐng 盆景)

微信图片_20170517174721Last weekend right before the Mother’s Day, my family and I went to visit the Beijing Botanic Garden and we had a great time with numerous pictures of beautiful flowers taken. It wasn’t until today that I come up with the idea to write about it. What’s a better way to commemorate those good memories than writing them down? Right?

It was not our first time visit there but it was our new encounter with the potted landscape exhibition in the Garden. Chinese potted plants have an artistic side of their own. The potted landscape I’m about to talk about is often known as Pénjǐng 盆景in Chinese (you may hit the Soundcloud below to hear how it’s pronounced in Chinese).

If you are into the botanic culture, you might have heard of this term potted landscape. The Chinese word Pénjǐng 盆景 is the source of its English term, the landscape presented in a pot. It sounds really cool as far as I concern. That’s art, no doubt about it—–the miniature trees and rockeries. Creating potted landscape requires the mastery of craftsmanship in combination with botanic knowledge so that the creator is equipped with what it takes to complete the work. Same as in other art forms, creativity plays a key role in the creating process of potted landscape too. Of all the green-plants available, often only a few are a good fit for the theme around which the creator chooses. After the art is completed, the post-creation maintenance is also needed regularly.

The kind of Chinese potted plants we visited looks more like a peculiar world in the jar. Interestingly, they are all about trees of old age. Perhaps there is something to do with the fact that the Garden is known of the variety of trees and plants. It’s a special garden that the locals all cherish, as it’s the only place blanketed by so many plant species and within the reach of Beijing’s public transportation. If taking a close look, you will be amazed by the details, the shape of the ‘old tree’ in its small version and the layout of how the bark and roots form.

Each pot is the foundation of a unique art piece. No, to be exact, each potted landscape per se is an art. Hardly is the designing limited to how the plant presents itself. Each pot is deliberately chosen too, with a poetry engraved on its outside. If reading into the poetry, you will be able to savor the beauty of the work at a deepened level. It is the words integrated into the creation that gives away a holistic understanding and the interpretation that the creator intends to share to the spectators.

Well, okay! I hope you enjoyed my gallery of landscape! If you are reading this post with an interest of learning Chinese language, I also hope you have found this post useful and learned a new word for the day!


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