Posted by: travelrat | June 8, 2015

The Humble Administrator’s Garden


Suzhou: May 21st 2014.

The Humble Administator’s Garden is thought by many (by ‘Lonely Planet’, anyway!) to be second only to the Master of the Nets Garden. It’s bigger, though, which led me to think that the Humble Administrator wasn’t as humble as all that.

In fact, the ‘Humble Administrator’ was one Wang Xian Cheng, who, in 1510,  retired from a life as a politician, in which he’d held many posts, as Imperial Inspector and magistrate,  to establish his garden in the grounds of a ruined temple, and just potter around in it .. or, as he said ‘ …to cultivate my garden and sell my vegetable crop is the policy of a humble man’ 

The garden was portrayed in a series of paintings by Wang’s friend, Wen Zhen Ming … and, over five hundred years later, in a series of photographs by me!

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