Research Elements Project – Feng Shui


As the project brief states the exhibition is on ‘THE ELEMENTS’ wind, water, fire and earth  In my initial research for this I  looked at the individual required elements ‘wind, water, fire and earth’ and how they affect us and the planet we live on.   From this research I found that the words ‘wind and water’ mean ‘feng shui’ in Chinese  and that ‘Feng Shui’ is an ancient Chinese discipline which has been practiced for 3500+ years.  Feng Shui (pronounced “fong schway”) is the ancient Chinese discipline based on scientific principles of balancing (Yin and Yang) and harmonising people and their environment (home); acknowledging the connection between our external surroundings and our inner being.
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The four elements ‘wind, water, fire and earth ’ are the four classical elements thought of in the western world with Feng Shui there are actually five elements: ‘water, fire, earth, wood and metal’.  The required element not included in the list of Feng Shui elements is ‘wind’ however wind does have significant bearing on Feng Shui with the actual word ‘feng’ meaning wind.  The basis of Feng Shui refers to the invisible or intangible qi (chi or energy) that flows through a space.
For my project I thought it would be interesting to learn about Chinese culture and examine how Feng Shui principles relating to these four areas/elements can be integrated into our everyday ‘western’ lives and I will explore and promote these in the exhibition.  Feng Sui has many aspects and is a large subject area; for this project I will look at how it and the four elements ‘wind, water, fire and earth’ can enhance our homes and our health. Today everyone moves quickly and people are busy all the time, the word ‘stressed’ is used more and more.  Our western culture can also be seen as obsessed with material objects which in turn creates clutter.  I believe it is easy for people without any knowledge of ‘Feng Shui’ to be sceptical’ with this project I want to hopefully remove some of the mystifying aspects of Feng Shui.  Simply having a cluttered and disorganised home can make you feel lethargic and stressed and can have far reaching effects; it can be daunting but organising and clearing up clutter can free up the energy in your home, create a calm environment and release new vitality in your body.
One of the principle beliefs of Feng Shui is ‘all life is energy’, some energies are very uplifting and positive while other are non-beneficial  and stagnate.  Your home is a vibrating field of energy, as are you.  This means that you, your home and the entire universe are connected by an ocean of energy.  If our home has  a positive uplifting flow of energy then we are more uplifted and positive.  Sometimes we can be in an environment that has a ‘good feel/vibe’ this is a result of positive energy which I will try to promote with this project.
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Wind is symbolic in Feng Shui and presents how the chi energy flows and moves.  (Feng – Wind)  If air is blocked and cannot move then it becomes stagnant, this is also the case of chi energy when blocked by clutter in the home.  The aim of feng shui is to ensure that chi energy flows freely throughout the home.
The water element is very useful for release and renewal. Use this element for clarity, inspiration, relaxation, and for letting things go.
The fire element represents transformation and expansion. Fire is the most volatile of all the five feng shui elements.
The earth element helps to ground and stabilize. Of all the feng shui elements, earth is the most peaceful, calming, and stable.
The diagram below shows the five Feng Shui elements and how each element can generate another element – shown with the outer red arrows and destroy another element – shown by the black inner arrows.
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