After rapturous applause from the judges, press and visitors at the 86th annual Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2008, Shao Fan’s I Dream, I Seek My Garden won the prestigious gold medal. The garden also broke Chelsea Flower Show records for the deepest-dug garden featuring the highest wall. The garden welcomed such notable dignitaries as Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and the former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
‘The Chinese artist Shao Fan’s garden, an excavated pit designed for the KT Wong Foundation, was also given top marks. Mr Sweet praised the design, which made a vast space out of a small site by digging down deeper than ever before’.
Daily Telegraph, 2008
'The Wood Pavilion is sinking into the soil to represent the increasing disappearance of traditional Chinese culture. A structural wonder, I would say, and one that’s worth spending time examining from all angles, particularly as it is multi-layered’.
‘… you have an incredible walk around, seeing different views. It is a space that improves as you go into it; there’s a great sense of discovery. The garden appeared strange and highly original: there was no mistaking that its origins lay in an entirely different culture. And it raises the question: how much do we in the West know about the gardens of what is the world’s oldest continuous culture of garden design’.
Daily Telegraph, 2008
‘Designer Shao Fan introduces an original modern Chinese garden to the West’.
The Guardian, 2008
'This vertiginous garden, designed by the Chinese artist Shao Fan, is a Chelsea record-breaker. It’s the deepest garden ever built at the show, and it contains the highest wall, which is perhaps appropriate as it deals with a big subject: the economic transformation of China and the potential loss of its culture. Watching television presenters gingerly crossing the stepping stone provided the best fun of the show’.
The Independent, 2008
‘A show spectacle and a marvellous specimen of scenery-making, this garden is a triumph. “I Dream, I Seek My Garden” is powerfully elegiac. It’s the reconstructed relic of an ethos and a tradition'.
Country Life, 2008
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