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Feng Shui literally translates as "wind and water". It is a study of Man's position in the environment combining the fields of astronomy, geography, ecology, architecture, psychology and aesthetics.
The fundamentals of feng shui lie in the chi or energy that begins from the wind and ends in the water. It is this energy that is felt and translated as being positive or negative in nature. Ideally, an excellent feng shui denotes the harmonious co-existence with the forces of nature.
The history of feng shui is rooted in the Shang Dynasty (1751 - 1111BC). The reigning Emperor Pan was known to have moved his capital to another place to meet good feng shui. However, it was only during the Tang Dynasty that feng shui was formally taught by Master Yang Yun Song (618 - 907 AD). Fondly known as the Saviour of the Poor, Yang had an excellent grasp of feng shui knowledge and imparted it to many people.
The master practitioner has to have an intuitive feel of the space in question. Capable of receiving positive or negative vibes, he or she then proceeds to correct the negative force whilst improving on the positive vibes. It is for this reason that gold coins, bamboo chimes and fish tanks are often seen in the houses of some Chinese people. These ardent believers of the Chinese art consult their feng shui master before they add these ornaments to correct their household's energies. They also believe that shifting their furniture to quell the bad feng shui and attract the good one is necessary for a pleasant life.
Its influence has gone beyond Asian cultures and permeated Western cultures as well. Amongst them are big names like Donald Trump, Virgin Airlines and United Nations. An increasing number of architects and home designers are integrating this age-old intuitive art with contemporary themes in their work.
In Singapore, feng shui has influenced some of the major architecture, including the layout and design of Suntec City.
Noble, S. (1994). Feng shui in Singapore. Singapore: Graham Brash.
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Yap, L. (2000). Fengshui: 101 questions and answers. Singapore: SNP.
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About.com. (2003). What is feng shui? Retrieved October 17, 2003, from architecture.about.com/library/weekly/aa072400a.htm
Gwee, P. K. W. (1991). Fengshui: The geomancy and economy of Singapore. Singapore: Shing Lee.
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Tan, K. Y. (2001). The secrets of the five dragons: Feng shui and Singapore's success. Singapore: Times Media.
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Geomancy.net. (2002). The Oldest & Largest Authentic Traditional Feng Shui on the Web. Retrieved October 17, 2003, from sg.geomancy.net/default-spore.htm
Singapore Feng Shui Centre. (2002). Singapore Feng Shui Centre. Retrieved October 17, 2003, from www.fengshui.com.sg/mainframe.shtml
The information in this article is valid as at 2002 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.