The Scientific Committee of Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche has decided to dedicate this thirtieth edition of the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens to “The Tea Gardens of Dazhangshan”, situated in Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province, in south China.
Every year the prize involves an intense campaign of studies and research promoting a place rich in natural values, memory, and invention, and this year it has recognized the Dazhangshan tea cultivations as a site whose contents and teachings are capable of stimulating a collective, pro-active reflection on both historic and contemporary rural landscapes, as well as providing food for thought on developing a culture attentive to the environmental and social emergencies currently affecting our planet.
The vast system of hills beneath the mountains of Dazhangshan is dotted with villages surrounded by tea cultivations managed according to agroecological criteria: the undulating fields with their distinctive rows of tidy hedges unfold between the forests above and the rice paddies in the valleys below.
The tea plant (Camellia sinensis), which originates in this corner of China, has shaped a contemporary landscape conveying a sense of history and projecting into the future the values of a rural environment where humans have established a harmonious relationship with nature.
The ceremony will be presented and coordinated by Luigi Latini, Scientific Committee Chair.
It will involve the projection of a documentary film produced by the Foundation, The Tea Gardens of Dazhangshan. 2019 International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens, directed by Davide Gambino, in collaboration with Gabriele Gismondi; the reading of the Prize Statement, the presentation of the book dedicated to the Carlo Scarpa Prize and edited by Patrizia Boschiero, Luigi Latini, Maurizio Paolillo – published by the Benetton Foundation in Italian and English, co-editor Antiga – and the award of the seal designed by Carlo Scarpa as a symbol of recognition for the commitment and care for the designated place and of the community living there, in line with the philosophy and aims of the Prize: the award will be handed over to Hong Peng, the person in charge of the Dazhangshan Organic Tea Farmers Association and president of Jiangxi Wuyuan Dazhangshan Organic Food Company.
This will be followed by brief talks made by representatives from public Chinese cultural institutions, by Marco Tamaro, Director of the Foundation, and by representatives from Italian institutions, both local and national.
The ceremony will continue with music performed by Chinese musician Liu Fang and a demonstration of the art of Chinese tea making under the guidance of Zhu Yi together with the Italian tea culture association (Associazione Italiana di Cultura del Tè) to end on a convivial note.