Culture-nature connection: China rural landscape experience

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A worldwide initiative for global conservation and management

Culture-nature connection: China Rural Landscape experiences Han Feng Professor, PhD Department of Landscape Studies, Tongji University, Shanghai, China Milan, November 5th

Three lines underpinning Chinese values of rural landscapes • As an one of origins of human civilisation, China is an old and big

country. • Traditional Landscape culture associated greatly effected the rural images. • The





urbanization and mass tourism




natural philosophy on



1. Ancient Image of the Rural in the Book of Songs • The Book of Songs - The Bible of the East • The Book of Songs, formerly called Poetry, is the earliest general collection of ancient • from 11 century BCE to 6 century BCB. • The true agricultural life

• • • • • •

Description Association Custom Religion Politics From bottom up

2. Emotional Attachmet to the Rural: the Aesthetics of Fields and Gardens Poetry

• • • •

Tao Qian (365–427 CE) The first great poet associated with the Fields and Gardens poetry the natural life in gardens, and in the cultivated countryside. Both Chinese Landscape poetry and the Fields and Gardens poetry share theme of nature, being harmony with human beings.

… A dog barks somewhere in the deep lanes,
A cock crows at the top of the mulberry tree.
At gate and courtyard— no murmur of the World's dust:
In the empty rooms— leisure and deep stillness.
Long I lived checked by the bars of a cage:
Now I have turned again to Nature and Freedom.

• Rural landscapes were high-culturalized • Farmers’ daily agricultural activities were under-valued.

3. The power of urbanisation and mass tourism • • • •

53% . Rapid changes of rural landscapes driven by urbanization. Mass consumption of nature and rural: rural landscapes as tourism gaze

China’s urbanization


Hani Rice Terrace

4. Conclusions

• Threats • Opportunities • Sustainability