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Buildings of London (Winter 2017/2018)

You can call it an occupational hazard, when I go on my travels and marvel at the different sights and sounds around the world, Kan Yu (...

Friday, 20 April 2018

Buildings of London (Winter 2017/2018)

You can call it an occupational hazard, when I go on my travels and marvel at the different sights and sounds around the world, Kan Yu (Feng Shui) is never far from my mind. I look at historical and modern buildings and I ask myself what would I do if I am have to apply the principles of Kan Yu /  "Feng Shui" at this place? Buildings - for homes, offices and shops, in cities around the world fascinate me. Even more so when I travel pass the country side on the way to historical cities, I look at the landforms as cityscapes transition to greenery, hills and rivers. 

I don't use any fancy SLR cameras for my photographs - just my iPhone 6SPlus mostly, and sometimes the second hand Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 or the even older (8 years old) DMC-LX3. As a courtesy to all my readers here on Blogger, and on the social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, I always clean up and edit the photos before posting. Curated, as they say in these days of the Millennials. 

As you can tell from the articles on this web site, I like to experience the change of seasons, the four seasons. In Singapore, the weather is the same throughout the year, year after year. Some people like my mother just enjoy the sameness of life. I like change, I enjoy change, so I travel as the four seasons traveller, as much as I can and can afford. That is one reason why I like to travel so much, there are other reasons that I will write about one day when the creative drive hits.

In the meantime, these are photos I took in winter December 2017/January 2018 in London. London has a very interesting cityscape that is a blend of old and new. It was not easy taking photos in the cold winter weather, as it is cumbersome taking gloves on and off all the time. Sometimes I just wing it and walk with my hands in the coat jacket.

Walk up office buildings on Charterhouse Street

National Theatre Building
From Dezeen: "Brutalism: Denys Lasdun's National Theatre – one of London's best-known and most divisive Brutalist buildings – is a layered concrete landscape that Prince Charles once described as being like "a nuclear power station"."

View of London taken from the "Walkie Talkie" Building's Sky Garden

Shopping street with boutiques at street level

Office Building with single main entrance
City Hall

Glass enclosed skyscrapers in the City of London

The Barbican 
From wiki: The Barbican Estate is a residential estate that was built during the 1960s and the 1980s within the City of London in Central London, in an area once devastated by World War II bombings and today densely populated by financial institutions. It contains, or is adjacent to, the Barbican Arts Centre, the Museum of London, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Barbican public library, the City of London School for Girls and a YMCA (now closed),[1] forming the Barbican Complex.

The Barbican Complex is a prominent example of British brutalist architecture and is Grade II listed as a whole.

In the two photos above you can see one of the apartment buildings in The Barbican estate has the empty space below with a large water feature, something that will probably set a lot of Feng Shui tongues wagging, just like what The Interlace condominium estate in Singapore experienced. One would then project that the estate will not be successful. But the reality is far from that. You can read about it here. These apartments are very sort after in London. 

Yang Zhai Yin Zhai side by side

Liberty departmental store
One of my favourite "Feng Shui" photo to shoot in London - the infamous "T-junction" mentioned in so many Feng Shui books, websites and articles. There is more to it than just that, and I'll leave it as that. 

Shopping arcade in London
If you are one of those Feng Shui practitioners who are very particular about the "facing" of a building, the photo above will be a riddle for you - which "facing" should the individual boutique shops be?  

Leadenhall shops in the City of London
Lloyd's Building
Lloyd's Building

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Buildings of Hong Kong (Spring 2018)

With this post I am starting a new series on this web site that marries my interests in travel, amateur photography, architecture and design, with my work in Kan Yu / Feng Shui.

I was recently in Hong Kong for a week and here are the photos.

Taken from the upper deck of the unique Hong Kong tram

Walking up the slopes of Central

Causeway Bay

LEGCO building

Glass enclosed skyscrapers of Central


While having lunch at a restaurant, spotted this rooftop lounge

Typical entrance of Hong Kong buildings

A design idea for slanting door

2018 Qing Ming Festival in Singapore

Qing Ming Festival in ancient China
I talked a little about my Qing Ming Festival experience when I was younger, when we visited the resting places of my late grandfather. In modern day Singapore, most (land burial) graves have been exhumed to make way for land for housing the increased population. In 2011, my father passed away and he was cremated and his remains housed at the Kong Meng Shan Por Kark See (KMSPKS) Columbarium (Bright Hill Temple). My grandparents' remains were exhumed and housed at the Mandai Columbarium. And so for Qing Ming Festival these days, it is a different experience now, because like the houses for living, the Yin houses are housed in multi-storey buildings 

Here are some photos I took during this year's Qing Ming Festival.

Folded prayer papers to look like/represent ingots

My mother's method of laying out the offerings.

Mandai Crematorium
Newly opened 3rd floor
It is said that the entrance doors to all the floors and the buildings were all Feng Shui-aligned by the late great Venerable Hong Choon, the chief abbot of Bright Hill Temple when it was set up. The photo above is the newly opened 3rd floor. 

Mandai Columbarium Complex
"High-rise" Yin Zhai 

Mandai Columbarium

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Qing Ming 2018 - Solar Term "Clear and Bright"

The 3 pentads of Qing Ming are:

In the first pentad (of five days) : the Tung Tree flowers (Black Mangrove or River Mangrove)
In the second pentad : the field rats (that like shade) have disappeared
In the third pentad : the rainbow appears

The Solar Term of the Chinese Lunisolar calendar for 2018's Qing Ming fell on 5th of April, when it marked the beginning of the Bing Chen month (Yang Fire Dragon).

As a guideline given by a Taoist priest web site, for the Chinese customary practice of "tomb sweeping" during this time, the period of 10 days before Qing Ming (5 April 2018) and 10 days after is the time frame to do this. 

I remember Qing Ming was a big day for the Chua family when I was a kid in the 1970's. My late father had 7 children, another (late) uncle had 6, and together they drove to my late grandfather's tomb that was located in the Bukit Timah 6th Avenue area (now a posh/expensive condominium estate). As children we just did what we were told to do, but it was fun day out, as you can imagine the number of cousins who get together on an outing like this. In the 1980's with land redevelopment, my grandfather's tomb was dug up and his remains was moved to Bright Hill temple's Columbarium.