Feng Shui Hip No More?


Very rich woman in China. Feng shui master & ex-lover. Massive fortune. All embroiled in a heated battle over a questionable will. News of the made-for-movie sort from China has caused quite a stir among international media outlets today. Not surprising, as it’s got all the sensational elements needed to attract interest across the world-and even from more reputable sources including the BBC and AFP.

But this all has me wondering whatever happened to Feng shui. I recall a few years ago in the West it was on the tip of everyone’s tongue, from lifestyle magazines to buzz around office water coolers. And the talk covered a lot of ground-everything from how to harmonize your closet to Feng shui-‘ing’ dinner. But while the original principles of the practice are rooted in ancient China-dating back thousands of years-the West’s fascination with Feng shui seems to have died off relatively quickly. Perhaps it has in part to do with the kind of scepticism voiced by American writer Robert Todd Carroll in his book The Skeptic’s Dictionary:

‘Feng shui has also become another New Age “energy” scam with arrays of metaphysical products .offered for sale to help you improve your health, maximize your potential and guarantee fulfilment of some fortune cookie philosophy.’

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.

In China though it is still going strong, at least according to Xing Jingjing, a woman in her twenties whose father is a prominent Feng shui master in Taiwan. Xing has recently opened up shop in a busy business area of Nanjing, where she offers environmental consultation services, guided by Feng shui principles. She asserts: ‘At present, many universities offer Feng shui courses. Feng shui is very popular in Taiwan, and will definitely be recognized in the Chinese mainland.’

That may be good news for the aforementioned Feng shui master Tony Chan, who can always go back to his area of expertise if-as it seems likely-he doesn’t get a piece of that fortune.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Diplomat Brief