Friday, 11 July 2008
Feng Shui Wars in Hong Kong
See anything unusual in the above? Apparently, this particular set of buildings is famous for a reason most non-Asians would find stupendous. Feng Shui! Where the English nations regard Feng Shui as the art of making energy flow harmoniously in your home, the Chinese have, with their usual "better you than me" mindset have transformed it into a killing art.
How? Look closely:
Those are symbolic cannons they've got on the roof! It's a famous scene. And yes, that's the HSBC Bank of Hong Kong. It seems the local financial institutions aren't above resorting to some metaphysical aid, especially when they are competing with their rivals. The way I heard the story, that squarish building in the middle wasn't there initially. It was just HSBC shooting at the triangular building, which is the Bank of China. In case you were wondering, the Bank of China isn't so innocent itself:
Amongst the Feng Shui beliefs is the notion of "sha qi", or killing energy. This sha is generated, amongst other things, by sharp edges. So, a triangular building has very aggressive sha due to the pointy edges. The number of edges as been increased by the design, as is evident from the lit up lines in the photo. From a Feng Shui perspective, that building is killing everyone in sight!
If you take another look, you'll find that it has another nifty feature, visible in this photo. It is made of reflective glass, so the sun will reflect "light sha" or light killing energy into its opponents.
There is another tale about this. In Feng Shui, the theory of the Five Elements is extremely important. Banks, being related to money, belong to the metal element. Metal is burnt or "controlled" by fire. The fire element is triangular. So, by building a triangular building, the Bank of China is trying to "burn" HSBC! Perhaps those cannons weren't quite so unwarranted, although I don't know which one came first. There are other tales about this scene, but I'll save them for another day.