Movie Information

The Creation of Portlandís Classical Chinese Garden

About The Film
This documentary is your guide to the rich cultural atmosphere expressed through the design and construction of an authentic classical Chinese garden: Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. Witness aspects of ancient artistic life in China as you watch Chinese workers meticulously arrange massive rocks throughout the garden, precisely frame buildings using ancient technology and diligently position each stone and clay tile in the mosaic walkways according to a paving handbook that was last updated over 350 years ago. Observe completion of design features including leak windows, courtyards, moongates, walls, covered walkways and the Rainbow Bridge. Experience the pleasure of the placement, planting and history of the trees, plants and flowers of China. Learn about the challenges Chinese and American designers and architects faced as tradition is hardly compromised in the face of modern building codes and seismic regulations.
"This garden will be the most beautiful garden in North America. It is an authentic Chinese garden and there isnít another one like it in the world"
— Kuang Zhen Yan, Chinese Architect

"Looking at the beautiful upturned eves being built, we realize that each of these wing-like curves was basically eyeballed"
— Erik Nelson, Project Coordinator
The main film is 56 minutes long and the Additional Features are 33 minutes. It was completed in December of 2010 and will soon be shown on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

In producing this film we have drawn on the film production talent in Portland that includes script writing, audio, color correction, DVD authoring and the narrator Sam Mowery is a professional narrator and actor. We believe this films complex and marvelous man-made spaces will be of interest to architectural and engineering faculty and students as well as humanities and social science faculty at colleges and universities, gardening groups and all who are interested in things Chinese.

Additional Features of the DVD
The additional features include the story of the gardens origin, images of Oregon carpenters building the foundation and Chinese workers creating different segments of the garden. Also added is the description of repairing and strengthening 200 columns to meet earthquake codes. Included is the construction of three additional buildings, the Painted Boat in Misty Rain, Waterside Pavilion, and Knowing the Fish Pavilion. They along with the other buildings connect the sceneries that are there to enjoy. The mountain horticulture and water and lake add pleasure to the garden landscape. Finally several beliefs and reflections by those involved in creating the garden are shared. It is our wish that what is included in the additional features part of the DVD adds to the rich cultural atmosphere that is inherent in the design and building of a Suzhou Style Classical Chinese Garden.

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