Although Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of placement of space, is more than 8,000 years old, it was for the first time introduced to the United States in the early 1800s with the first immigrants from China. The notorious section of New York, Four Corners, featured various structures including gambling houses that included Feng Shui, as did the Chinatowns located in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In the 19th century, the Joss House in Australia was built with Feng Shui. The theories of Feng Shui have also been employed by western trading companies to please business communities and to support fortune in business.
For centuries, Chinese masters of Feng Shui have been studying man-made and natural environments and their influence on people. With the knowledge that the stresses of modern-day society and the elements of nature have an effect on the quality of people's lives, they unearthed how to produce harmonious settings that, by their design, attract the finest wealth, health and kind relationships.
Since the middle of the 20th century, practicing Feng Shui principals has been banned in the People's Republic China, largely because Mao Zedong (who, by the way, had studied Feng Shui himself) accused numerous practitioners of committing fraud. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, nearly all of Feng Shui practitioners got their books destroyed, were persecuted and confined in prison, and underwent severe privations for their practicing of ancient culture.
Feng Shui theories are still employed in rural China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The culture is not widely-known amongst younger Chinese people in the PRC. Nonetheless, the swift modernization in China has caused Feng Shui to become a valuable subject for academic analysis at universities of China. As scholars of China more and more work with their colleagues in the other countries of the world, a new image is budding of the application and history of this ancient tradition.
Feng Shui in Postmodernism
Architects, landscape and interior designers around the world are progressively more asked to incorporate modern Feng Shui principles and elements in their designs, even when it has to do with places which don't have large Asian populations. Irrespective of the country of practice, an increasing number of businesses use modern Feng Shui to boost sales and increase morale. Homeowners often follow Feng Shui advices in interior design or during the construction of a home.
The attention towards the principles of Feng Shui, in fact, speeded up in past years with increased knowledge of young designers about microclimates, the menace of global warming, green construction techniques, and as a reaction toward the "inhuman" aspects of Modernism.
One of the famous buildings in Hong Kong, the Cheung Kong Tower, had been recently reviewed by Li Shing, a modern Feng Shui consultant. The interior of the building is totally in green with the main entrance facing the eastern direction that, believes the specialist of modern Feng Shui, would bring in more prosperity to the Li Shing`s family.