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AROUND HOME : The Art of Traditional Chinese Flower Arranging : BY HUANG YUNG-CHUAN (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; 1988)

April 02, 1989|Robin Tucker

FLOWER ARRANGING IN China is a studied and symbolic combination of theory, values, philosophical perfection and harmony between floral materials and container. Some used to the spontaneity of Western arrangements may find a grouping such as "Wind Scatters the Heaving Waves"--stems of papyrus on one side of a shallow bowl, two African daisies on the other--rather stark and mannered. Others may find inspiration in the simplicity. There are comprehensive chapters on the history of Chinese flower arranging and a detailed list of the symbolic meaning of plants, and each of the 82 color plates is accompanied by a line drawing and description of the arrangement. A scholarly book, not for the merely casual flower lover. ($45 cloth; $24.95 paper)

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