“I don’t believe in all good and all bad. Are you allowing that to take over your life or are you taking charge of life with those things? - that’s how I see it,” says Thierry Chow
If you’re looking to improve your life by interacting with your surroundings, we’ve gathered 5 unscientific ways to relax in Hong Kong, 5 ways to make your small apartment feel like home and a number of love feng shui tips for you in the past. Originating in China, feng shui is a practice that channels different energies in the environment to work in harmony and improve one’s well-being. Some may say it’s superstitious, some may say it represents forces that are bigger than you and me, but either way, it plays a huge part in Chinese culture, with the entire Hong Kong skyline built with feng shui principles in mind, and most new offices and interior spaces in the city laid out in consultation with a professional feng shui expert. We recently chatted with feng shui consultant Thierry Chow to see how this ancient practice allows creativity to thrive and helps one grow.
An interview with Thierry Chow
Hi, Thierry. Thanks for sitting down with us. What did you do before becoming a feng shui consultant?
My dad is a feng shui master. I grew up listening to my family talk about feng shui a lot, but as a kid it didn’t have a big impact on me. I moved to Canada when I was ten, and studied art and design my entire life. When I came back to Hong Kong, I worked a few jobs but I wasn’t happy or satisfied. One day I just looked at my dad and felt the urge to explore feng shui. I jumped into it and never looked back. That was almost eight years ago.
What do you do as a feng shui consultant?
For the first few years, I focused a lot on learning the practice from my dad, and eventually I started to integrate a lot of my perspective into it. I do a lot of individual consultation. I realised I’m good at talking to people, but in a therapy way. It felt like my purpose to help people overcome challenges and explore their spirituality. I also started doing projects that incorporate feng shui, mostly fashion and design because I want to keep doing what I love whilst giving both a good balance.
What is feng shui in your opinion? Why does it matter?
Before I learned about feng shui, I thought it was just superstition. But then I realised everything about feng shui has to do with the environment, like how you arrange things, or what colour you choose. It’s really just about being more aware of your surroundings and what you choose for yourself. It creates an environment that helps you become a happier person and allows you to work at your best.
What are some examples of that then?
Choosing your home and choosing your office. A lot of people think that as long as the space is of a good size, then it’s fine. But it actually comes down to the location, the colours – whether they fit your personality, illuminate you or help you become more productive. If you’re a creative person, but you choose an office that doesn’t offer you creativity, that it’s not a good idea.
Why is colour such a major part of feng shui?
In feng shui, we categorise colour in the five elements. Different elements represent different emotions. We look at the meaning of each colour and we avoid picking depressive colours such as black, grey or overly white, as they affect how you think. Studies have shown when inmates were put in pink cells, they behaved a little bit more lovingly and less violent, and they might not even notice that themselves.
What is the most common question you get asked as a feng shui consultant?
People always ask me, “how do you know it works?” And I always say, “how do you know anything works?” You have to experience certain things yourself to understand that experience for yourself. Just be open to it and try to understand it.
Could it possibly be placebo effect?
I think everything in life is, depending on your attitude. If you already have that positivity in you, everything you do will only help you become better such as eating healthy and exercising. It’s not all about which practice is more important, but rather your attitude towards them.
What changed since you took up this profession?
It really opened up my mind on a spiritual level. Before learning about feng shui, I had this mentality that I knew everything and that this is my world; I was judging it so much before I even gave it a go. Now I’m able to experience the world more. The practice itself is all calculation, but I have to deal with a lot of people and really go through their growth in life together. It makes me a much more grown person.
Is feng shui something everyone can try to incorporate in their everyday life?
Definitely. I think anything in life if you use it wisely and in good balance, is good for you. I don’t believe in all good and all bad. Are you allowing that to take over your life or are you taking charge of life with those things? – that’s how I see it.
Any words for those who were born in the Year of the Pig?
For the ones born in the Year of the Pig, because they’re “Fan Tai Sui” – it just means that it’s your year and it normally represents a very unstable year. Things will be uncertain and there will be lots of changes. Many people are always scared of that, but it’s not always bad changes. I believe that change is a good thing, it allows a person to grow.
Keep up-to-date with Thierry Chow here
Liked reading our interview with Thierry Chow and want to learn more about Chinese culture? Check out the different meanings behind these Chinese temples, sample Chinese herbal tea or see how traditional Chinese medicine can help women with menstruation issues.