Garden of Mirrored Flowers

by Hu Fang, 胡昉

cover of Garden of Mirrored Flowers

Fang’s novel tells the story of a man in the process of designing a theme park, called Garden of Mirrored Flowers, and is an adaptation and transformation of the classical Chinese novel Jin Hua Yuan, or Flowers in the Mirror, from the Qing Dynasty. Beginning as a pictorial journey through myriad advertisements and the way they allow for many different entries into reality, there are parallel lines between the construction in reality and in the imagination of how a garden has evolved within an historic process. The story ends up in a big opening ceremony of the theme park where history seems to have been completely consumed and absorbed by contemporary social movement.

For Hu Fang, reality in China is so dramatic that it seems that reality itself is writing its own novel. When reality has already become commodity, The Garden of Mirrored Flowers is a labyrinth to be lost in, or a pavilion made by semi-reflective glass which reflects self-images, precisely because we are situated within a reality replete with multiple routes.