Korea university professor emeritus Sim Woo-kyung will give a talk on Korean garden culture for the Royal Asiatic Society on Tuesday.
Gardens across the world have been designed to re-create paradise, according to Sim, but the concept of paradise has been differently imagined by Eastern and the Western cultures, especially according to their religions. He says that in the Western world, whose religions arose from arid areas, gardens were typically surrounded by high walls to protect people from hostile climates and fearful animals. Sim contrasts this with the Asian approach that aims to let people live harmoniously with nature.
Sim’s talk will explore how Korea’s traditional garden culture has developed uniquely within its natural environment and under various religious influences.
Sim is emeritus professor of landscape planting and garden history at Korea University, and president or the Research Institute for Spiritual Environments.
The talk will begin 7:30 p.m. at the Resident’s Lounge of Somerset Palace near Anguk Station in Seoul. Admission is free for RASKB members and 10,000 won ($8.60) for nonmembers.