In the Garden

Works on Paper by Deng GuoYuan

May 6 ~ June 11, 2011




Deng Guoyuan offers us the opportunity to step into his garden, to share in a vision of nature made manifest by his brushwork. This is his understanding of nature, a palpable display of intellect, emotion and spirituality.

Can we walk in Deng's garden? Can we truly understand and enter into this world of his creation? How can we share in this vision of nature?

We each carry through life a garden that we have fashioned, a garden that is our experience, the world we perceive and come to understand. This garden consists of all that we may consider as our past, all that we know of in our present and may believe in for our future. Our garden is also what we have to offer the world outside of ourselves. It is the metaphorical self we see when we contemplate the meaning of our lives.

With the past no longer and the present quickly retreating, we struggle to construct our future. We nonetheless cannot work on such a project without the knowledge and skills acquired from past experience. Such experience contains the origin of our lives as understood through traditions, customs, cultures, and the social worlds in which we exist. These are the elements of our individual gardens, layers of the natural world that infuse our beings with spiritual meaning. Walk through your garden and you will see the world of your parents, grandparents, culture and history.

We cannot live outside of our garden, it is our destiny - but we can strive to live better within it. The simplest and most mundane aspects of your garden have the ability to enhance its metaphysical qualities. Tend to your garden and you tend to your soul. Each rock, flower, leaf or handful of soil consciously regarded fulfills to the utmost one's spiritual mission as a living creature.

The garden of Deng Guoyuan is both a message and an invitation. It is a message from one who has engaged in conscious creation and cultivation of their garden. And, it is an invitation to communicate and possibly awaken similar sentiment in others. A well-tended garden is a message of peace and a prayer for justice.

A conscious cultivation of life, one's garden is a microcosm of universal harmony.

Through its singular display of birth, death and rebirth, the garden affirms the notion that harmony and justice travel the same path. The healthy garden reflects a natural symbiosis amidst diversity, an understanding of just cause and effect. In both the metaphor of the garden and its real-life splendor, the potential for peaceful co-existence is displayed in a manner for all to understand and emulate.

A healthy society is like a healthy garden - each member afforded the opportunity to fulfill their right to life. Each element of our garden has a role, a purpose, a place within the whole. Where there is life as we know it, however rudimentary or complex, there is a will to live, a desire to survive. The age-old question for mankind has been how to acknowledge and respect the place of all life in the struggle for existence. The garden is a place to seek such understanding.

~ Nadesha Mijoba, Director


In the garden we find the man,
and in the man we find the garden.
Such is our destiny.

~ Nadesha Mijoba ~


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