A garden by award-winning Korean garden designer Hwang Ji-hae is on permanent display in the French city of Lons le Saunier.
The mudflat-themed 800-square-meter garden was unveiled in the French town Tuesday as the fourth Korean garden on permanent exhibit in France.
Existing gardens include a Seoul garden created in 2002 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of friendship between Seoul and Paris and another garden to celebrate the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and France.
Hwang’s garden titled “Mudflat: Sewn by Mother’s Hand ― Suncheon Bay” was first unveiled last year at Floriade, an international flower and garden exhibition held every 10 years in the Netherlands. After the exhibition, the designer decided the garden should find a new home for longer display and selected the French city among several other candidate cities in Europe.
International audiences hailed the work as “unique and exquisite” as the garden differentiated itself from other Korean gardens previously shown to European audiences with its modernity and simplicity.
The garden found its motifs in traditional Korean hand-sewing, which is expressed in delicate curves and props that exude Korean traditional beauty while maintaining a modern ambience. It also portrays the natural beauty and biological diversity found at the mudflats in Suncheon Bay in South Korea.
|“Mudflat: Sewn by Mother’s Hand - Suncheon Bay,” designed by Korean garden designer Hwang Ji-hae, is on exhibit at the Floriade in the Netherlands in 2012. The garden was moved to the French city of Lons le Saunier for permanent display and opened to the public on Tuesday. (Lee Seong-yong)|
Suncheon Bay and the surrounding mudflats have been designated as a wetland conservation area by the Korean government. The extensive mudflats stretch out along the southwestern coast of the Korean Peninsula and account for 83 percent of Korea’s mudflats.
“I was mesmerized by Hwang Ji-hae’s Korean garden design,” said Jacques Pelissard, mayor of Lons le Saunier. “Making a box from waste was impressive because it symbolizes a recycling process. The work indicates we need to step up efforts to recover environmental damage,” Pelissard said at the opening ceremony on Tuesday.
The garden, rebuilt in the French city with the support of Suncheon City and Asiana Airlines, was noted for using indigenous Korean plant species.
Suncheon Bay, the main motif for the garden in France, is also the site of Hwang’s new garden designs, which are on show at the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo that runs until Oct. 20. She received attention with her new designs “The Lugworm’s Path,” and “Mudflat Stage,” which also feature motifs from mudflats.
Hwang has won gold medals at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show for two consecutive years, in 2011 and 2012, with unique Korean features. In 2011, a Korean toilet-themed garden “Hae Woo So: Emptying Your Mind: Traditional Korean Toilet” won Hwang a gold medal and top award in the Artisan Garden. In 2012, Hwang was awarded the President’s Award and a gold medal with the DMZ-themed garden “Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden.”
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)