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 Family
With appreciation for your generosity and vision
School of Humanities
University of California, Irvine
June 16, 2005
The 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).
Photos copyright © May 2009 Kat Avila, Camera: Canon SD1000
Time of Day: Taken over the course of two weeks in the late morning and early evening. I discovered that shadows were needed for definition as photos taken during the afternoon looked washed out.
Additional Notes: The statue of Li Bai had its thumb broken off on the right hand that he is holding behind his back, and the delicate fingers of Magu's left hand were snapped off. Also, there was visible bird excrement on all the statues. On the morning I shot video, I did not notice until too late that pranksters had placed pebbles in Li Bai's wine cup and on the ledge made by Qu Yuan's hands, or it is possible they were stone offerings. That same morning there were several snails crawling up Magu, so I had to shoot around them.
black phoebe
A black phoebe sits
atop Qu Yuan's hat.
brown garden snail
a brown garden snail
Overall Garden View
overall garden
Li Bai, Magu, Qu Yuan, Lao-zi
overall garden
Magu, Lao-zi, Li Bai, Qu Yuan
overall garden
Li Bai, Magu, Lao-zi, Qu Yuan
overall garden
Magu, Lao-zi, Qu Yuan, Li Bai
Li Bai and Magu
Li Bai and Magu
Magu and Lao-zi
Magu and Lao-zi
Qu Yuan and Magu
Qu Yuan and Magu
Magu and Qu Yuan
Magu and Qu Yuan
Li Bai, Qu Yuan, and Magu
Li Bai, Qu Yuan, and Magu
overall garden
Qu Yuan, Lao-zi, Li Bai, Magu
Qu Yuan and Lao-Zi
Qu Yuan and Lao-zi
Lao-Zi and Qu Yuan
Lao-zi and Qu Yuan
Magu, Qu Yuan, and Lao-Zi
Magu, Qu Yuan, and Lao-zi
Magu and Qu Yuan
Magu and Qu Yuan
Qu Yuan and Li Bai
Qu Yuan and Li Bai
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
Li Bai Li Bai Li Bai Li Bai close-up
Li Bai Li Bai close-up Li Bai close-up Li Bai
Magu, goddess of eternal youth and beauty who offers an elixir and the peaches of immortality to a lucky few
the goddess Magu the goddess Magu the goddess Magu the goddess Magu
the goddess Magu the goddess Magu the goddess Magu the goddess Magu
the goddess Magu Magu close-up Magu close-up Magu close-up
Magu close-up Magu close-up Magu close-up Magu close-up
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)
Qu Yuan Qu Yuan Qu Yuan close-up Qu Yuan Qu Yuan
Qu Yuan Qu Yuan close-up Qu Yuan robe close-up Qu Yuan robe close-up New Zealand sedge
Lao-zi (aka Lao-tzu, "Old Master"), credited author of the Tao-te ching ("Classic of the Way and Virtue")
Lao-zi Lao-zi Lao-zi Lao-zi Lao-zi
Lao-zi close-up Lao-zi close-up Lao-zi close-up Lao-zi close-up on right hand grasses surrounding Lao-zi
Lao-zi from back Lao-zi from back Lao-zi frontal close-up Lao Zi close-up Lao Zi close-up
Long earlobes mean wisdom.