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Evelyn Lip Mong Har (Dr) (b. 1938, Malaysia - ) is a prolific author of more than 50 books on topics ranging from architecture to Chinese geomancy or feng shui and the teachings of Chinese thinker Sun Zi, to children's stories. An architect by training, she lectured at National University of Singapore (NUS)'s School of Architecture for almost three decades and has the distinction of being the first person to obtain a Ph.D. (Architecture) from the faculty.
Born to a traditional Cantonese family in 1938, Lip was raised in Ipoh, Malaysia. She was sent to a Chinese-stream primary school but studied in an English-medium secondary school. She obtained a Grade One certificate in her Overseas Cambridge Examination and went on to study architecture in Technical College, Kuala Lumpur. She worked temporarily for architecture company Booty, Edwards & Partners, before winning a scholarship to further her studies in the United Kingdom (UK). In London, she met and married her Malaysia-born architect husband, giving birth to her first child here. They returned to Malaysia upon her graduation and she took up lecturing at MARA in Kuala Lumpur.
In 1969, Lip and her husband migrated to Singapore. She joined the then University of Singapore's architecture faculty, lecturing on the history of architecture, architectural design and Asiatic architecture emphasising on oriental development. In 1986, she became the first person to obtain a Ph.D. from the university's architecture faculty, for her thesis Chinese Temple Architecture in Singapore. The first to survey over 120 Chinese temples in Singapore, her thesis traced the architectural, social and religious influences of Chinese migrants on temple building.
Lip's interest in Chinese cultural traditions includes the influences of geomancy or feng shui on people and the environment. In its literal sense, feng shui means "wind and water". It is a belief that natural elements have to be taken into consideration before siting a building or a tomb as this influences the person's fortunes or luck. To Lip, feng shui is not so much a superstition but more a logical art of the placement of things so that one would feel harmonious with the environment. She has written several books on Chinese geomancy, including What is Feng Shui?, Chinese Geomancy, Fun With Chinese Horoscopes, and Feng Shui for Business. She sources research material for her books based on her ability to read Chinese classical works. This is because Chinese geomancers are often reluctant to share their trade secrets with her. Her books are written in simplified terms to cater to readers who are new to feng shui and its principles.
Lip is also a talented artist specialising in Chinese brush painting. Not only does she write, but she illustrates her books as well. She has written and illustrated children's picture books such as The Frog Family, Clever Kingfisher, The Greedy Sparrow, and The Snake and the Eggs. Often, her children's stories are based on a moral theme.
A woman of many talents, Lip is frequently invited to speak at clubs and associations. She juggles her time as a writer, painter, illustrator, researcher and, at one time, academic and architect. Lip, however, is unfazed by her various roles, as she once said, "It's a matter of managing of time and work, besides, I am a fast worker."
1958 : Grade One certificate, Overseas Cambridge Examination
1962 : Diploma in Building Design, Technical College (now University Technology), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1966 : Diploma in Architecture, Regent Street Polytechnic (now University of Westminster) School of Architecture, London, UK
1968 : Chartered Architect, Royal Institute of British Architects, London, UK
1978 : Diploma in Chinese Brush Painting, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore
1976 : Masters in Architecture, University of Singapore
1986 : Ph.D. in Architecture, National University of Singapore
1962 - 1963 : Booty, Edwards & Partners, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1966 - 1969 : Practising architect; Lecturer-in-Charge (Architecture), MARA, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1969 - 1998 : Lecturer, and later Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Singapore, which later became National University of Singapore
1979 : Chinese Geomancy
1981 : Chinese Temples and Deities
1983 : Chinese Temple Architecture in Singapore
1986 : Feng Shui for the Home
1988 : Choosing Auspicious Chinese Names
1990 : Classic Chinese Legends
1993 : Out of China: Culture and Traditions
1995 : The Design and Feng Shui of Logos, Trademarks and Signboards
1997 : Personalise your Feng Shui: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Pillars of Destiny
2000 : Chinese Practices and Beliefs
2004 : Feng Shui: A Layman's Guide
2008 : Personalise Your Feng Shui and Transform Your Life
1981 : Ten Little Chicks
1981 : The Magic Bowl
1981 : The Waterfall
1981 : The Green Monster
1982 : The Snake and the Eggs
1982 : The Greedy Sparrow
1982 : Clever Kingfisher
1982 : The Frog Family
She is married with two children
Architecture, Building & Real Estate Masters & PhD Theses in NUS Central Library. (2001). Retrieved August 12, 2004, from http://www.lib.nus.edu.sg/theses/clhdarch.htm
Lee, S. C. (1992, May 4). Harmony and geomancy [Microfilm: NL 17639]. The Straits Times, Life, p. 6.
Lip, E. (n.d.). About me. Retrieved on November 25, 2008, from http://www.evelynlip.com/home.html
Lip, E. (n.d.). Biography. Retrieved on November 25, 2008, from http://www.evelynlip.com/home.html
Mahbubani, G. (1982, September 26). Superwoman Evelyn [Microfilm: NL 12712]. The Straits Times, p.19.
Tan, S. Y. (1999, February 12). Dos and donts when decorating your home [Microfilm: NL 21381]. The Business Times.
The information in this article is valid as at 2008 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
Language and literature>>Fiction
Philosophy, psychology and religion>>Feng shui