If the short hair and fierce eyeliner weren’t enough, Thierry Chow‘s fuchsia dress and eclectic style lets you know she doesn’t go down the route of convention. Sharing with NONAGON.style her mission to bring feng shui up to date, the design conscious and art-focused feng shui consultant welcomed us to her apartment and studio in Hong Kong to talk about inspiration and how modern design can exist with feng shui’s age old teachings.
Chow shares her space with husband Peter Yuill, and their three chihuahuas — who were keen to get involved in the interview too. Their eagerness to be in front of the camera has even granted them their own Instagram account. Check out our interview with Chow, below!
A Bit About Thierry Chow
Many people call Thierry Chow a feng shui master, but she refutes the label. Chow grew up in Hong Kong, where she would often hear talk of feng shui from her father the renowned feng shui master Chow Hon Ming. After graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Illustration in Canada, Chow moved back to Hong Kong wondering what to do. It was the calling to combine art and feng shui that prompted her to take lessons from her father and learn more about the family trade.
What is feng shui?
Feng shui, in my own words, is the relationship between people and the environment. It’s basically a study of the environment and how it affects people mentally and physically.
When did you start getting involved in feng shui?
I started around seven to eight years ago practicing feng shui with my father. It’s been a very interesting journey and it has since changed my life.
In what way has it changed your life?
Before I started practicing feng shui I had this idea of what I know about the world — sort of like a more limited version of myself I think, and feng shui has brought so many unlimited opportunities for me. Just the way I feel the world has changed because of feng shui.
How does art impact your life?
Art has impacted my life enormously because it’s brought me so much joy. It’s something I grew up with because I wasn’t good at much other things, so art really brought me confidence and a really fun way of looking at the world and interacting with people. So in my life art is everything.
I like to make weird art, I think. Right now obviously because of the feng shui practice I do make a lot of art that is related to feng shui. I am in a lot of different categories so I also do fashion, so I sort of go into that.. Also I do a lot of drawings, because that’s what I studied is drawing illustrations. I made a book on feng shui that has all my illustrations in it and I also do graphic design, product design. So everything is art related and feng shui related.
What kind of art do you enjoy consuming?
I enjoy buying fashion… and also vintage. We [referring to husband and artist Peter Yuill] also do enjoy a lot of prints of different artists. Feng shui is largely related [to] what I do and how I live so in my home whatever I would think or love to put in my home, I would buy.
Tell us about the outfit you’re wearing today.
The outfit that I’m wearing today actually really represents who I am because I love bright colors. Usually I prefer wearing colors like this – I do have a very distinctive personal style to what I wear, so I would search different stores, different online shops. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand name [or not], as long as it speaks to who I am, I would buy it.
Who are the most influential people in your life?
Some of the most influential people in my life would be… number one my parents, and my dad. He is my role model and the reason why I jumped into learning feng shui so without him I wouldn’t be doing any of the stuff that I’m doing now. They’re very supportive so that really helped to [grow] me into the person that I am today.
My father has been a feng shui master for over forty years now in Hong Kong. He grew up really loving feng shui and he said when he was a kid he would read different books and finally he learnt to follow under different feng shui masters. That also led him to learn all the basics, and finally coming out to experience the whole practice and doing feng shui for different people. Now it’s been forty years. I’ve been with him for eight years and it’s the closest we’ve ever been thanks to feng shui.
How does a consultation work?
If we are going to see a space then we will go to that building and, sort of, observe the surroundings first, outside and inside. So once we go in, we have a compass that we use which is the most important tool. It gives us the very precise direction of where the building is facing, where the unit is facing. We will go in and look at the layout, the colors, the texture of a space and through the feng shui practice we also give advice on where the good spots are; where to sleep, where to get the maximum good energy from living or working in that space.
Secondly is, we will also do a personal reading which is looking at the birth chart. Through that we look at every person’s different elements. Some people have more water elements, more fire elements.. looking at that we can tell the person how to live, where to live, and what to wear to bring the best energy to them.
Turning Feng Shui on Its Head
Chow will often look at a client’s personal birth chart to help suggest what they should wear to bring good luck. “First of all my experience was, I was apprenticing under my father. I noticed he would tell people to wear certain colors or if they’re a certain zodiac then they need certain charms.” Finding a deeper and meaningful way of wearing clothes appealed to her, as Chow likes to consider how different situations call for different outfits. “Instead of just the colors, I will provide advice on how you can wear it, if you’re going on a date, if you’re seeing a boss for an interview, how do you wear the color [to make a good impression]?”
Last year, Chow released her book Love and Fate, a guide to finding love by harnessing feng shui. “I think love itself is such a strong energy that if you can arrange your surroundings and how you live your life and how you dress, it really can help you find better energy in that category.”
After apprenticing with her father, Chow decided it was time to open her feng shui design agency TRE. The idea is to offer many feng shui services, and modern feng shui products such as water fountains, brass statues or copper homeware. These work alongside consultations for home, retail and shops. “Any space you can think of we do,” Chow explains. This year marks the launch of the TRE homeware collection, featuring “anything that can be used in feng shui but a modern design version of it.”
“In the future I think feng shui will be shaped in a way that is something everyone can use, something that can bring awareness to people around the world about the surroundings and the environment. It could be something like yoga and meditation and I think if used wisely, it can really help the world to become a better place.” — Thierry Chow
If you’re interested in more features and interviews, check out our video of common misconceptions about feng shui or enjoy our interview with artist Peter Yuill. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to see more, or make the pledge of allegiance and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!