S-Space Graduate School of Environmental Studies (환경대학원) Dept. of Landscape Architecture (환경조경학과) Journal Papers (저널논문_환경조경학과)
Ui-won: the 18-19C Joseon Scholar's Garden of Imagination
- Sung, Jong-Sang
- Issue Date
- Taylor & Francis
- Landscape Research, vol.40 no.6, pp. 732-747
- A ui-won is a garden created by and enjoyed through the mind by late-Joseon
dynasty scholars. Its enjoyment was however not always constrained to the mind, as at times it
was reproduced into forms such as the written word and painting. The garden is the stage where
one strives to transcend human limits and finitude, the mise-en-scène created by imagination and
inspiration. The ui-won is the product of the effort to create this realm through the imagination.
The practice of ui-won began in earnest during the eighteenth century, when the economy and
culture of the Joseon society prospered and matured. In the difficult and unsympathetic life that
scholars in the city led, a ui-won appeased the pang of unfulfilled desires in reality while
vicariously gratifying the dream of spiritual transcendence. Also, as it was shared among fellow
scholars in the form of poetry, essays and paintings as a sophisticated form of leisure, it
facilitated the communication and understanding between them. The ui-won, satisfying the
aesthetic taste and cultural demand of the time with its foundation on a hypothetical world of
free imagination, also sheds light on the contemporary quest for a new way of communicating
gardens in this digital age.
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