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A Visit to the Yi Garden, the Rao Zongyi Museum

Source: xinhuanet Date: 2016-05-06
Yi Garden seen from the front

The Lobby
 
Introduction to Mr. Rao Zongyi
 
The Rao Zongyi Museum is housed at the Yi Garden close to the Xiashui Gate of the ancient city of Chaozhou. It was built in 1993 and opened to the public in 1995. It is on the original site where Mr. Rao, a sinology master, studied in his early years. In 2006 when Mr. Rao celebrated his 90th birthday, the hall was expanded and renamed as the Yi Garden.

The hall puts on display the life, academic works and calligraphy of Mr. Rao. It is also an important place for academic exchanges. The garden is characteristic of Chaozhou traditional architecture with flowing water, pavilions, rockery and plants arranged in an artistic way. The plaque at the entrance bears the name of the garden, written by Mr. Rao. And the couplets, which read “well-versed in ancient and present studies, were written by the famous calligrapher Huang Miaozi.
 
View in the garden
 
Works by Mr. Rao


Exhibits at the hall

In the museum, there are buildings such as the Jingwei Hall and the Tianxiao Tower. Besides the life and academic works, the Museum also showcases his calligraphy and book collections. The plaque at the entrance to the Tianxiao Tower is a replica of Mr. Rao’s former residence, the Chun Garden, which was written by Chen Jingren, a calligrapher of Chaozhou in the Republic of China period.In fact, the Yi Garden borrowed many elements from the Chun Garden in some of its views. 
 
A Corner of Yi Garden
 

Mr. Rao Zongyi was born in 1917. The Chun Garden was built by his father Rao E, a prestigious scholar in Confucianism, in 1930. Rao Zongyi spent his early years in the Chun Garden. In the 1950s, as the Rao family left Chaozhou, the garden was bought by Huang Jingyun, a Singaporean Chinese. The Yi Garden is reminiscent of Mr. Rao’s early life. It is also a symbol of the goodwill of people in Chaozhou.

Mr Rao made important contribution in many disciplines, including archeology, religion, philosophy, arts, literature and Near-east Studies. He is one of the most influential scholars in sinology and calligraphy. The Chun Garden is where he was educated, the Yi Garden displays the rich academic achievements made by the master.