Chinese Landscape Aesthetics: the exchange and nurturing of emotions

Claudia Westermann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


'[..] flowing with the waters, halting with the mountains. In the images of light and wind the ephemeral is inscribed. Time is part of space. The scene performs.'

The short essay published in a book on new Chinese landscape architecture highlights the differences between traditional Chinese and European conceptions of 'landscape.' Following the etymology of the Chinese terms associated with landscape, the essay highlights that the Chinese idea of landscape includes the exchange and nurturing of emotions. Highlighting that human participant-observers are emotionally embedded in the idea of landscape, the article provides a basis for a new understanding of Chinese landscape architecture. The essay provides an important theoretical contextualisation for the work of the eight contemporary Chinese landscape architecture practices presented in the book.

The short essay was deliberately written in a poetic rather than academic style to reflect the emotional character of the Chinese concept of landscape. The American Society of Landscape Architects lists the book 'New Horizons: Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today,' in which this essay is included as one of the best books of 2020.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Horizons: Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today
EditorsJutta Kehrer
Place of PublicationBerlin, Basel
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9783035621495
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2020


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