The Jao Family Sculpture Garden, officially dedicated June 16, 2005, is a stone's throw away from the Humanities Bridge in Aldrich Park, University of California, Irvine. The garden features four white marble sculptures donated by real estate tycoon Frank Jao from a local Vietnamese Cultural Court display in Little Saigon, Westminster, an ethnic neighborhood Jao helped to develop.|
Frank and Catherine Jao and FamilyThe sculptures are of poet Li Bai, the goddess Magu, statesman Qu Yuan, and philosopher Lao-zi. According to a plaque at the site, Li Bai is surrounded by large smooth stones alluding to his life in the mountains, the goddess Magu by cloud-like winter blooming bergenia (Bergenia crassifolia), Qu Yuan by wave-like New Zealand sedge (Carex testacea), and Lao-zi by lily turf (Liriope muscari) on one side and pinkhead smartweed (Polygonum capitatum) on the other to represent yin and yang. I was unable to find any information on the artist who did the sculptures, though the statue of Lao-zi looks like it was based on an existing historic sculpture (I saw a photograph of the older statue on the Internet).
Overall Garden View
Li Bai (aka Li Po, 701-762 A.D.), a Tang Dynasty poet who is remembered for his love of wine as much as his poetry
Magu, goddess of eternal youth and beauty who offers an elixir and the peaches of immortality to a lucky few
Qu Yuan (340-278 B.C.), an exiled statesman and poet whose death is memorialized by the Duanwu Festival (5th day of the 5th lunar month; aka the Dragon Boat Festival)