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Modern 'feng shui master' revamps ancient discipline

By Sun Chengdong (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-08-19 15:19 Comments

Modern 'feng shui master' revamps ancient discipline

Wang Rong works with a traditional feng shui compass in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province. on June 9, 2015. The compass is a traditional tool used to find a proper feng shui location. [Photo/CFP] 

Feng shui is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing humans with the surrounding environment; it literally translates as "wind-water" in English.

Even for most Chinese people, the world of feng shui is filled with mysteries, intrigues, legends and misunderstandings. Wang Rong, a female "feng shui master", is trying to make this ancient discipline more relevant today.

Wang Rong, a master student who majored in architecture, chose to specialize in feng shui. Unlike the traditional study of feng shui, modern feng shui emphasizes solving issues between people and the environment. Historically, feng shui was widely used to find proper locations and facings for buildings or structures — often spiritually significant structures such as tombs — but also dwellings and other structures, in an auspicious manner. The interpretations of traditional feng shui are full of mysticism and the supernatural. The modern study of feng shui is focused on its application to architecture and how to bring harmony to people living inside a building with the surrounding environment.

Wang utilized her knowledge of feng shui to provide advisory services for building projects, sometimes a single apartment or a shop front or an entire residential property development project. She works with the design departments of property development companies to incorporate the concept of feng shui into property layouts.

Wang revisited her design of a maternal and baby services company for feedback. "This company deals with the business of newborn life. So I should take the following factors into consideration: first, the appearance of the room, such as the shape of the sofa and how space is utilized; second, the expression of colors and third, the selection of material. For example, green plants belong to "wood" among the Chinese Five Elements (Wu-Hsing), symbolizing the life force. Life force is beneficial for giving birth, green plants will harmonize with the purpose of this institution. The study of feng shui is a practical science with a fusion of the location and design of architecture, safety in construction and aesthetical appreciation and cultural taste, not merely a superstitious term", Wang said.

"Feng shui has been out of public eye since the 1950s", Professor Zhang Jinqiu, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said. "Feng shui is our ancestry's experience when dealing with the relationship between man and nature. The first consideration is safety - a house is usually built in front of a hill to escape the wind. The second is, to make it convenient to get water, so the location of a house should be beside water resources, such as a river and pool. The third is the direction the structure should be facing, such as a house should face south to get enough sunlight. The core principle of feng shui is "Choosing the best place to live". Feng shui can guide people to optimize the natural environment according to a certain rules."

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