The Chinese Garden of Friendship was built as a symbol of the friendship between Sydney and Guangzhuo in China, to mark Australia’s bicentenary in 1988. The garden was designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners following the Taoist principles of 'Yin-Yang' and the five opposite elements—earth, fire, water, metal and wood. These principles also stress the importance of Qi, the central force of life and energy.
Yin-Yang plays such a vital role that just one missing element would disrupt the garden's harmony and balance. However when combined perfectly, the five elements form a fluid and nurturing environment. Everything you encounter in the garden has been hand-picked and meticulously placed to capture the five elements and the energy of Qi. Even the buildings meld with the landscape and complement the sinuous lines of the trees and vegetation.
Unlike western-style gardens, there are no planted flowerbeds or manicured lawns. Instead, wild aspects of nature are recreated in landscapes that feature waterfalls, mountains, lakes and forests.The art of Chinese Garden design began in imperial parks during the Shang dynasty 3,000 years ago. Later they flourished on a smaller scale in the private gardens of China's rich and powerful. Darling Harbour’s Chinese Garden of Friendship is a small-scale version of a typical private garden from this era.
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