Asymmetrical balanced is used in the placement of the clouds along the long sides of the box interior. The clouds are meant to represent some of the difficulties that can make our journey through life a challenge. While the garden space itself is calm, the surrounding area is full of ambiguity and the way is often unclear, much like our lives. Clouds obscure, like the challenges in our lives, yet they also create interest.
The areas the clouds cover are roughly the same, but the side panels are flipped when they are placed in the box. They offset each other, changing the rough symmetrical balance into an asymmetrical arrangement. A simpler example of asymmetrical balance is the larger trees on the left that balance the sloping hill on the right.
This photo is of the work in progress. You can see that the houses and clouds have not been stitched and the paths are only partially finished. The path through the mountains is an example of a progressive rhythm.
The mountains are painted in a stylized manner consistent with the traditions of Chinese landscape painting. Each of the mountains has a similar rounded shape and their size decreases as they overlap and recede into the distance. The same is true of the small red houses that perch on their slopes. The houses are all based on the same basic design that has been adapted to indicate distance by using a progressive rhythm. The path to the top of the mountain is clear, and there are homes/rest stops along the way where a traveler can receive help, but it is still a long road with many lonely stretches and the clouds that will fill the background stand ready to move in and make the trip more difficult. I imagine that by the time the traveler reaches her final destination, she will have lots of interesting tales to tell about her journey. If the way was clear, her story would be less interesting.