Soswaewon, the garden of sound, shade and poem
●○ The main feature of the gardens in Korea could be described as a ‘natural study of human beings’ and the principle of the study is to follow nature. Therefore, the gardens in Korea put emphasis on harmony with nature. Soswaewon (National Scenic Beauty No.40) is evaluated as the best garden of Korea.

●○ Structure and philosophical features of Soswaewon Soswaewon garden is a private garden of Yang San-bo (1503~1557). He built the garden after he gave up his success in politics when his mentor Jo Gwang-jo was killed during a political strife, Gimyosahwa (1519).

● ○ Korean-style garden that follows the laws of nature –‘block but communicate’ Soswaewon is featured with a stone pillar supporting the wall which is shaped like a sluice on a small stream. The sluice like pillar looks elegant and unique which seems to reveal the philosophy of Yang San-bo who was separated from the world but still wanted to communicate with it

●○ The source of poems and the venue of scholars’communication The sharp Gwangpunggak pavilion seems to arouse the wind where the simple Jewoldang seems to be softly embraced by the moonlight. Gwangpunggak pavilion located in the lower part shows vitality whereas Jewoldang located on the top is a place of silence. Gwangpunggak pavilion is known as a place ‘where the sleeve slips away as it seems to float on water’ whereas Jewoldang is said to be a ‘room that brightens by the moonlight’. Gwangpunggak is a cool place as it is shaded by a valley and huge trees. On the other hand, Jewoldang is located on the sunny side and is always bright. In terms of purpose, Gwangpunggak is a place of amusement used as a guest room whereas Jewoldang was a room for study and meditation. Both pavilions served different purposes. The most unique feature of Soswaewon structures is the adequate repetition and harmony of brightness and darkness, and light and shade.

Doksujeongwonrim Garden, the spirit of serving only one king ●○ The garden was created by Seoeun Jeon Shin-min. When Koryeo Dynasty fell, he was determined not to serve two kings and hid himself in the garden and created the pavilion. Doksujeong garden was first repaired by a descendent of Jeon in the 28th year of King Gojong’s Reign (1891) and then was repaired again in 1972. Doksujeong was named after a poem of Lee Baek which recites ‘Who could be Baek Yisukje. He must have starved to death by remaining faithful to his integrity in a western hill’ which refers to the high integrity of a scholar.

Location│33, Doksujeong-gil, Nam-myeon, Damyang-gun


Leave a Reply