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Lotuses in Buddhist Imagery 2018-11-16
Summertime finds the typical scene of showy lotus flowers swaying in the breeze in a sea of green with the accompaniment of fishes swimming freely around straight lotus sticks in crystal-clear water of West Lake. To get a glimpse of this typical summer scene, the exhibition named ‘Pink Lotus Blossom and Green Lotus Leaves’ ongoing from June 24 to July 31 in Guo’s Villa and Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden is an event not to be missed. The exhibition showcases a variety of lotus species and other lovely aquatic plants, which amount to over 1000 species including some rare ones.

Adding more charm to the event, over 40 calligraphic works and paintings from Hangzhou Buddhism Association are also on view to demonstrate the connection between this ornamental plant and Buddhism. Anyone with a slight knowledge of China’s Buddhism culture would have known that most of Chinese deities are portrayed seated in an open lotus flower. Since ancient times, the lotus has been recognized for its unique feature of rising from mudding water and remaining unstained, and has long been associated with physical and mental purity as well as no-attachment and thus has been viewed as a Buddhist symbol.

Lining along the path from the No. 1 entrance of Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden to Guo’s Villa are creatively designed ornaments made out of lotus. Adding more color to the fun party, excellent photography on lotus and flower arrangement illustrating Buddhism are there for you to enjoy as well.

About the venue

‘Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden’ is a name for both a garden and a view inside the garden which is ranked among ‘Top Ten Views of West Lake’. The garden is located in the west side of West Lake and has enjoyed high reputation since ancient times with all credit going to a pool of incredibly beautiful lotus blossom showing off in summer times inside the place. Till now, one can still find a stele erected inside on which are inscribed the Chinese version of ‘Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden’ done by Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty during his inspection tour to Hangzhou. He was then deeply impressed by the lotus flowers and left behind him this immortal phrase, and in doing so, helps to spread the name of the place and the view.

Just a stone’s throw from ‘Breeze- ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden’ is Guo's Villa. The place used to be a private villa owned by a family surnamed Guo, hence the name. Constructed in 1907, the place currently is the best-preserved privately owned garden and stands out as one of the renowned gardens in Hangzhou for its unique layout of aesthetically combining building construction with the landscape. It is an exemplar of the concept of Jiangnan Gardens perfectly practised in Hangzhou.
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