Feng shui expert Thierry Chow Yik-tung shares how she brings fashion and feng shui together and talks about her feng shui philosophy.
By Angel Woo
Feng shui designer Thierry Chow Yik-tung’s iconic split dyed hair and sophisticated fashion style makes her stand out from other feng shui masters who wear traditional Tangzhuang all the time.
The 33-year-old’s stylish look shocks people that meet her. “Everyone is so surprised and thinks I’m a fashion designer. Almost every time, it takes them a while to accept that I am a feng shui designer,” she says.
After studying illustration in Toronto, she returned to Hong Kong in 2010, and worked as an art teacher in a private studio.
“At that time, I was very lost and depressed. My dream of being a designer did not come true. One day when I was having a meal with my father, I suddenly had a strong gut feeling that I had to learn feng shui from my dad. I felt like someone needed to reform this tradition and provide a new lens for people to understand it,” she says.
From 2011, she started learning feng shui from her father, Chow Hon-ming, a renowned feng shui master in Hong Kong who boasts Citibank and PCCW as his clients.
The intuition brought a new chapter in Chow’s life. She then became a full-time apprentice of her father for five years and found new perspectives to understand feng shui.
“For the first few years, I followed my father to meet his clients every day and had to memorise all the signs and symbols in feng shui. It was not easy because I don’t have good memory,” she says with a laugh.
Chow’s Unique Philosophy of Feng Shui
After the five years of full-time apprenticing under her father, Chow has found her own way to redefine feng shui. She emphasises the relationship between nature and humans in feng shui. To her, humans are attached to nature.
“Living in a city may make us feel separated from nature. But if we take a look at our surroundings, we will find the connection with nature. For example, a wooden desk, things made of metal…they are all from nature,” Chow says.
In her philosophy, feng shui is a way for people to transform their surroundings into a space that makes them feel good. It has nothing to do with superstition and magic.
“Feng shui is not magic. It cannot wipe away all of one’s worries. But it can bring positivity and a clear mind when one is encountering challenges,” she says.
“Feng shui is not magic. It cannot wipe away all of one’s worries. But it can bring positivity and a clear mind when one is encountering challenges.”
When asked what her feng shui philosophy is, she cites a quote from The Book of Changes (易經) – Break impasse with change. Change leads to solutions. (窮則變，變則通)
Chow believes it is always good to have change. “When changes come, we are forced to face challenges which make us grow. Changing means leaving your comfort zone and entering a bigger world.”
“Everything changes. If one can understand this principle, one can be stronger when facing challenges,” Chow says. “Challenges make us a better person and add colours to our life. Life would be boring without challenges. If you choose to give up when encountering challenges, then you lose the chance to succeed.”
Combining Modern Fashion with Traditional Feng Shui
The feng shui expert has been a fashion lover since she was young. Combining her fashion sense with her family’s traditional feng shui practices, she creates designs with feng shui concepts.
Until now, she has already collaborated with several major brands like Kenzo, Lane Crawford, Max & Co for events.
“I was in a Kenzo video campaign for their seasonal launch and did feng shui consultation at their launch event. I also collaborated with Lane Crawford to design a capsule collection of jade rings,” she says.
While she was learning feng shui from her father, she found that her father advised his clients on what to wear. The thought of modernising feng shui through fashion then popped up in her mind.
“The main concept of feng shui styling is to balance. In feng shui, there are five elements – Fire, Wood, Earth, Metal, and Water. Everybody has a personal element and they may lack a certain kind of element, so we can balance it with clothing,” she says.
Chow says the five elements also represent different patterns and shapes, which brings more variety when styling fashion with feng shui concepts.
The feng shui expert wants to modernise feng shui through fashion and attract more attention from young people by combining the two.
In 2019, Chow collaborated with jadeite expert Samuel Kung along with Lane Crawford to design a jade jewellery collection. She gave the traditional gemstone a modern look through Western designs.
She also explains how she applies feng shui in jewellery. “Jade is in the earth category, it has very calming effect and will interact with the person that wears it. The colour (of the jade) will shift or change accordingly (based on the wearer’s mentality),” Chow says.
The Future of Feng Shui
Chow hopes feng shui can be listed as a form of local and global intangible cultural heritage one day, as she strongly believes that feng shui culture should be inherited.
“I would like to write a feng shui book in English. It is a way to globalise feng shui. I see great potential in the Western audience – some of them are very interested in oriental culture,” she says.
Chow also wants to clear up public misconceptions about feng shui.
“Some may think if they put a feng shui product at home, they would become wealthy immediately without doing anything. People usually misunderstand it as something related to magic, religion, or superstition, but it is not,” she says.
“It takes time to clear up these misconceptions. I will work harder on it,” Chow says.
Edited by Patricia Ricafort
Sub-edited by Kassandra Lai