He Yuan, also named as He Garden, is managed by He Yuan Culture Development Center, which is based in Beijiao, Shunde, Foshan, Guangdong, China. Once completed, He Yuan was donated by Guangdong He Foundation as a non-profit program that benefits the public, offering citizens of Shunde free admission to the complex. Effective governance mechanisms have been established to ensure its sustainable development.
With its foundation in October 2014, He Yuan covers an overall site area of approximately 41,749 square meters and a total floor area of approximately 13,689 square meters. It was officially opened to the public in May 2018. He Yuan is a manifestation of local entrepreneurs’ deep love for their hometown, Shunde. Once completed, He Yuan was donated by Guangdong He Foundation as a non-profit program that benefits the public, offering citizens of Shunde free admission to the complex. Effective governance mechanisms have been established to ensure its sustainable development.
While promoting Lingnan garden art, He Yuan has always aspired to present Cantonese culture to the public and create a comfortable and vibrant atmosphere that hums with fine traditional Chinese culture. Through its exhibitions and events with local characteristics, He Yuan strives to demonstrate Lingnan culture, including Cantonese arts and crafts, Cantonese opera, Cantonese music, and Shunde cuisine, and provide insights into a city’s collective memory. Committed to advancing the public’s understanding of Cantonese culture, He Yuan provides visitors with various resources to experience and understand Cantonese culture. Moreover, He Yuan offers an enchanting space for visitors to appreciate a treasury of artworks and explore fine traditional Cantonese culture. Its goal is to become a high-end destination in Beijiao that caters to the demands for distinct tourism, culture, and recreation.
He Yuan is the embodiment of fine Lingnan garden art in contemporary China. In order to contribute to research on garden culture and promote Lingnan fine garden art, He Yuan will conduct cooperative research, hold academic seminars, and establish a broad range of partnerships with research institutes, institutes of landscape architects, higher education institutes, and garden art enthusiasts. Besides building a platform that demonstrates the social and cultural development of the Lingnan region, He Yuan is also engaged in collecting, conserving, and presenting significant works of Chinese garden art. With a focus on Lingnan garden art, it promotes a collection culture that protects and preserves representative cultural relics, historical documents, and art collections. By so doing, He Yuan will not only protect and preserve fine traditional Chinese garden culture but also hammer out a unique cultural brand, extend its cultural dimension, and lay a foundation for its transformation into a garden art museum.
Cantonese canal town culture is a source of inspiration for the design of He Yuan. Its design follows the maxim “bei shan nan shui, fu yin bao yang” (“yin at one’s back and embraced by yang, with ridges in the north and water in the south”). As a vivid embodiment of Chinese “Mountain and Water” gardens, it seeks to recreate natural landscapes in miniature. Moreover, its unique design has been inspired but are not limited by architectural styles that were influential in four significant periods in the history of China, namely Ming and Qing dynasties, the late Qing dynasty and early Republic, the Republican Era, and the founding of the People’s Republic of China. With a mixture of architectural styles, He Yuan seeks to be a creative gardening masterpiece that celebrates the integration of interior and exterior spaces. It is composed of six themed zones, namely Tong Ju Shun He, Yue Yun Liu Feng, Shui Yue Song Feng, Yun Xiu Jing Lu, Taihe Academy, and Bai Wei Xian Ning, the details of which can be found in the sections of “Design Concepts” and “Views” on this website. He Yuan provides an unparalleled picture that captures the beauty of mountains, water, city streets, and the lives of people in Lingnan canal towns. It strives to be a 4A level tourist destination in China.
In the near future, He Yuan will be transformed into a platform that presents and promotes fine traditional Beijiao culture and a space that houses the social and cultural memory of the local people. It will collaborate with galleries, the Beijiao Cultural Center, public cultural centers, and Beijiao Park to build an area exclusively designed for the development of art and culture in Beijiao. In order to enhance Beijiao’s cultural influence and boost cultural development in the Lingnan region, He Yuan strives to become a cultural symbol in Beijiao, which is characterized by its livability, business-friendliness, and tourist-friendliness. While promoting a positive city image and serving the public, He Yuan has always aspired to become an iconic tourist attraction that adds luster and value to Beijiao.