Following her dad, renowned Feng Shui master Chow Hon-Ming, Thierry became one of the few woman Feng Shui masters in Hong Kong.
Her mission is to help to balance everyday environment space, home, and work, adding traditional five vital elements with an artistic and stylish improvement of contemporary design. Following her own path, she is bringing Feng Shui a modern new language and a new face.
Interview by Dominique Musorrafiti
This is a selected interview from
Planet China Vol. 02 issue
celebrating International Women’s Day 2018
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China-Underground: Can you tell us something about you and your background
Thierry Chow: I grew up in Hong Kong but went to Canada when I was 10 yrs old, I had always been an artist since I was young, as I loved doodling in class when I couldn’t focus. I ‘ve always loved art and being creative, when I went to university I had studied fine art, but later on graduated with a bachelor of applied illustrations. My father is a feng shui master for over 30 years, I’ve started apprenticing under him when I got back to Hong Kong after graduating university.
How did you first become interested in Feng Shui? What motivates you?
Growing up with a father that’s a feng shui master, I actually was never interested in feng shui. When I came back to hong kong after graduating university in Canada, I’ve worked a few jobs, design, teaching art, movie assistant, and I wasn’t happy and had this strong feeling that there must be something else out there I want to do. Then one day having dinner with my father, I suddenly had an idea to learn feng shui from him, and I felt strongly it would give me the right platform and opportunity to use my creativity, and that’s when I decided I would learn it and to make it my mission to modernize feng shui by combining design and feng shui, and of course to keep the importance traditional and vital elements of feng shui, but to give it a new language and new face.
“Chow wants people to know that feng shui is not about magic or superstition its a creative approach to respecting and understanding how our environment influences our minds.” Asia Tatler
What is Feng Shui? Why can it be important and applicable to daily life?
Feng shui is the relationship between us and the environment, and how it affects us both physically and mentally, it is not the only important thing in life, but it is one of the most important layers that makes up with life is, it is a practice that is great for maximizing one’s wellness. It is super important as our environment is one of the most important elements in our lives, having a good space and good environment can help one to be happier and healthier. It is applicable to daily life, like places that we live in, work in, how a place makes us feel is very important. On a big scale it is about how healthy our environment is, environmental issues such as our pollution, and garbage issues, these all affect us.
Do you have your Feng Shui philosophy? Do you practice meditation?
Personally, I meditate and practice Buddhism, they are things that help to keep me centered and balanced. My feng shui is so much more than just interior, it is also about the exterior, as it’s the relationship between environment and people, we should all look at the big picture and be more aware of the health of our planet. I always make sure my home and workplace feel comfortable and welcoming, there are things I’m really picky about, such as how much natural light I get, and what colors I use for interior and decorations. I think every space has its own personality, and it really reflects who we are internal.
What are the main benefits of following Feng Shui? Can Feng Shui change your lifestyle?
The main benefits of feng shui are enhancing one’s mental health, enhancing one’s physical health, it is a supernatural way to enhance and improve ones living and working space, brings awareness to our environment and the effects it has on us.
“You need to see the bigger picture. For example, the sun always comes up in a certain spot every day. So how does that affect people? This is what feng shui explores. Everything can have an impact: the trees, the air, the water and not to mention, pollution.” Lifestyle Asia
Can you tell us something about the role of design in contemporary Feng Shui?
Since feng shui deals with the environment, and also the five element ( which means everything in our life can be put into five elements category), for example, shapes, patterns, colors, materials can all be categorized, with these we can really play with the design with the theory of feng shui. From designing ones interior to different decoration to homewares etc …
How do you combine ancient metaphysical traditions with modern aesthetics?
I think it’s about keeping the tradition and important vital information, but the key is to be able to explain them in modern terms, and in ways that modern society would understand. I think as long as two have a good balance, it will create something amazing when they are combined.
What are the simplest elements of Feng Shui that can help for balancing everyday lifestyle?
Simple elements such as understanding the five element theory are very useful at helping balance everyday life. The five elements are the vital elements of the planet, metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. For example we are naturally drawn to these elements, that’s why we love the presence of ocean (water ), forest (wood), sun (fire), earth ( mountain), and as modern day goes it is okay to have these elements integrated into our lives and in our living/working space, so it’s good to have these elements in our living space. One example would be placing more plants in your home, not only will it clean the air, it also helps one to become more productive.
Does living outside Asia influenced your way of following Feng Shui?
I think there are mixed opinions and perspectives on what feng shui is, and I think no matter what one knows about feng shui, and if you live in Asia or not, it is good to keep an open mind and to know that feng shui is and can be a very natural way to enhance one’s living quality, it doesn’t have to be superstitious.
Do you face any difficulties explaining Feng Shui environmental therapy to Western people?
I’ve had many opportunities to explain feng shui environment therapy to western people, and as my husband is also western, I’ve gained a method in explaining it so that western people can understand better. I think sometimes it’s hard to explain it to people in Asia also, as many have a misunderstanding of what feng shui is, so it really goes for both but in different ways.
How do you balance social media and contemporary technology lifestyle with the knowledge of Feng Shui?
Feng shui can help one to achieve balance, too much of anything isn’t good, and feng shui is all about the environment, it is good to take a break from digital and tech life and actually look at our nature and enjoy the beauty of it.
Photo courtesy of Thierry Chow
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CHINA-UNDERGROUND. Ciao! My name is Dominique. I’m Italian and I’m proud to be a mix. My father was an Italian chemical engineer and high school teacher, with Greek and Polish heritage. My mother is Haitian, she was high school language teacher, with Dominican, Spanish, French, Portuguese, African and Native American heritage. Being a mix makes me appreciate to want to understand different cultures and lifestyles. I grew up in Italy, lived few years in Haiti, travel around main European capitals, lived seven years in China, six in Spain and UK. Traveling makes me feel that we can learn something from every situation in every part of the world.