Vol. 21 No. 1 (2023): Paradoxes of water

Estetica dell’acqua e del paesaggio nel rinnovamento della tradizione cinese

Giovanni Gamberi
Centro Studi d'Arte Estremo Orientale

Published 2023-12-14


  • aesthetic of water,
  • aesthetic of landscape and garden,
  • ecology,
  • politics,
  • tradition

How to Cite

Gamberi, G. (2023). Estetica dell’acqua e del paesaggio nel rinnovamento della tradizione cinese. Ri-Vista. Research for Landscape Architecture, 21(1), 80–93. https://doi.org/10.36253/rv-14124


Current Chinese policies consider tradition as the starting point for a new Chinese Renaissance. To meet contemporary, political and ecological needs, China rediscovers the millenary aesthetic of water and landscape, starting from its renowned philosophers, artists and gardens designers. Water’s central role in culture spans philosophical, religious and artistical fields. Since the origin of Chinese culture, renowned philosophers have associated water flow to the perfect political and moral vision. The wiseman considers water as the excellent behavioral model, in harmony with natural principles; water is indeed the mean to reach the Dao. In China, since the first studies on landscape painting, water has perfectly blended with the aesthetic vision of the landscape, becoming an integral part of it. Water exists in relation to its flowing and to its surroundings, becoming part of the landscape, not as a separated, independent element, but as a fundamental constituent.



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