Conversations with: Jacelyn Phang, Business Development Manager, Yuan Zhong Siu

You may have heard of Grand Master Hillary Phang, or perhaps walked past the Yuan Zhong Siu outlets in various parts of Singapore including Chinatown, Jurong and Serangoon. Yuan Zhong Siu is owned and managed by the New Trend Lifestyle Group, which was founded by Master Phang in 1989.

In 2012, New Trend Lifestyle became the first Asian Feng Shui company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. The team at Yuan Zhong Siu prides itself heavily on the expertise of their Feng Shui masters. Their wealth of knowledge is attributed to the years of experience and diverse case studies each master has chalked up to their name.

Business Development Manager for the New Trend Lifestyle group is Jacelyn Phang, daughter to Grand Master Phang. Having been exposed to Feng Shui since young, Jacelyn found herself joining the company when they expanded in 2012. Jacelyn conducts grooming and etiquette classes, and speaks at many private and public events to help introduce the topic of Feng Shui. And she does so in both English and Chinese, which is one of Yuan Zhong Siu’s unique selling points – bilingual speakers, which allows the company to reach out to a much larger audience.

In the following interview, Jacelyn enlightens us on the science behind Feng Shui, how Feng Shui artefacts can enhance the environmental harmony in your home, and how often you should review your individual Feng Shui reading.

The Redbrick Team (RB): What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is environmental science. It’s understanding the interaction between you and your environment to get a foundation of harmony which is necessary to draw in success. Many successful individuals around the world use Feng Shui principles, e.g. Alibaba’s Jack Ma. He applies Feng Shui principles before he chooses locations for his offices.

Trump Tower in Central New York has a big globe just in front of the building. Trump is also a person that believes that because his office tower is near a crossroad, it brings about killing or “lethal energy” coming from the cars that are just in front of his tower. So the globe is placed to harness good energy, as well as bring a greater network for his company. These are some examples of real life applications of Feng Shui, to attract necessary harmony to bring in success.

RB: Would you consider Feng Shui an art, a science or a spiritual belief?
Feng Shui is definitely not spiritual, as it is not related to any religion. I would say it’s a systematic study of statistical background. Everything we do is through the use of statistics, e.g. in ancient times, astrologists would chart the movement of the stars to come up with the principle that certain things would be happening for a certain period of time.

They made predictions through the movement of the stars. Fast forward many years into modern times, a lot of mathematicians and astrologists chart down this movement onto a piece of paper, devising mathematical formulas before they come up with a chart to determine the movements of the stars. So, I would say that Feng Shui is a combination of math and science.

RB: Is Feng Shui purely about luck?
Yes and no. Before we talk about enhancing our luck and fortune, the basic thing is understanding yourself and your core as a person. We use a statistical tool in our company called Zi Wei Astrology Destiny Chart to help you understand yourself better before strategising ways on improving your luck.

For example, through the chart we are able to tell your your 10-year analysis of luck. There’s no one person that will always have a smooth sailing life. There will always be ups and downs, and that is why it’s important to know when they are, so that when it is down, we don’t spend too much time, effort and energy depleting our resources. This is so that when our luck is here, we can chiong ahead.

We also always say that successful people are very successful, because they are very intuitive. They make sure that they make use of 3 principles in their life to be successful, and these 3 principles are: timing – the 10-year analysis of luck mentioned previously; geographical – using Feng Shui principles to get a foundation of harmony which is necessary to bring in success; and lastly, understanding the zodiac benefactors in your life so that you can form supportive allies to help you gain success and victory as well.

RB: Are artefacts the only form of remedy?
There are a lot of ways to create the good energy (or what we call good qi) that can come into our lives, other than placing artefacts that we normally would encourage people to be placing. For instance, to enhance wealth, we will tell people to put ingots. We also encourage people to put items like green plants, such as the lucky bamboo plant or even the money plant, because nature is the mother of all abundance. So, lush growing, healthy green plants would bring in the same amount of growing energy for that aspect of your life. Other than that, some Feng Shui masters will also tell you to rear fish, etc. It’s not just artefacts, but varied kinds of lifestyle items that you can place in your home.


RB: How often do we have to review our Feng Shui reading?
Actually, yearly. Within the 10-year analysis, there is what we call the annual luck analysis. When we take a look at the 10 years of your life, there’re points that are high and points that are low, so on a yearly basis, these stars that I’ve previously mentioned would fly. We call these stars the 9 flying star distribution chart, so whatever you’re doing in 2017 would not work for you in 2018. On a yearly basis, it’s best for you to review the reading. However, for things that you’ve already gotten, they are still very applicable, such as the artefacts. It’s just a movement of the position of the artefact in your house that can help with enhancing the luck in the aspect that you are looking out for.

Zi Wei Astrology allows individuals to understand the strengths, weaknesses and core of themselves as a person.

RB: Tell us more about your client demographics.
We have a wide range of demographics, because whatever your age, you could come to our company. Zi Wei Astrology is applicable to anyone as long as they have their unique ba zi associated to the year, month, date and time of birth. Zi Wei Astrology allows individuals to understand the strengths, weaknesses and core of themselves as a person. It’s especially important for those who have kids, because that’s when you can discover their innate talents if you don’t already know exists within them.

Generally, men who come to us are usually those who are more career-driven, or they are in the sales line and want to know how to enhance their success factor better. As for the females, they are more concerned with love, marriage and relationships.

We also serve a lot of corporate clients, both in Singapore and China.

RB: What sets you apart from other Feng Shui practitioners?
We have a few strengths. Firstly, our items are modernised and aesthetically appealing. The portraits we have is something you can accept in your homes. If you are placing portraits with moving energy (i.e. if it has a river/stream), it has a good moving energy that could bring success to you and your career/work. Additionally, for green plants or if you have portraits that are more autumn-like, it also represents new beginnings and harvest times.

Secondly, we differentiate ourselves with a very good English speaker – which is me (laughs). If you visit a lot of Feng Shui companies, they are still very Chinese-based and their marketing team is not as strong as our company’s. We differentiate ourselves with bilingual speakers; if you walk around the whole of Singapore, any big TV screens that are outside Bugis Street, Chinatown Point, Tiong Bahru, Jurong East, you will see our Grand Master Hillary Phang sharing the forecast for the 12 zodiacs.

A long time ago, people only thought that Feng Shui masters can only speak mandarin, but he’s someone who is bilingual, so you can see that the things he’s mentioned, the tips he’s given are also very modernised. We are a modernised company that is going with times, and at the same time we understand consumer demands and wants as well, so we constantly innovate ourselves to meet the demand of the market.

We are a modernised company that is going with times, and at the same time we understand consumer demands and wants as well, so we constantly innovate ourselves to meet the demand of the market.

RB: What made you join this industry?
I’ve been introduced to the topic since young, but I’ve never really thought that I would be coming into the office to help out until in 2012 when we were listed and our board of directors decided that we were going to expand out of the Feng Shui industry. I have always been very entrepreneurial, so when we wanted to start up a new business, I developed and managed our beauty salon at Tanjong Pagar. That’s when I thought it was a challenging job for myself, and then I decided to come in and join the company. While I started off running the skincare, grooming and etiquette classes, the demand for Feng Shui topics increased and so I became a speaker for New Trend Lifestyle as well.

RB: How was it like when you first started out? What kind of difficulties did you face?
It was hard, but I guess it’s the same for everyone when you first start out something. And it’s an industry that you’re not so familiar with, but you’ve been hearing a lot from your parents, so it’s a very interesting job. This Feng Shui business is very unconventional; whenever you tell people you’re in the Feng Shui line, they’ll be like “oh can you read my fortune?”.

There are a lot of difficulties in understanding the technicalities of this subject, so I took a long time to follow my dad so I would have more case studies to share whenever I speak. It was more of the content that was difficult at the beginning, but just like anything, if you give it some time, it gets better as well. So, the difficulty is more with the technicalities of the subject.

RB: What are your hobbies? / What do you do in your free time?

I do a lot of yoga. Every week, I try to go at least 2-3 times. It’s a mixture of classes I go to, sometimes I do hot yoga to sweat it out, sometimes I go for yoga zen because I feel like it’s a meditation thing for you. It’s not very difficult. You just have to stay in a position for 2-5 minutes, but you can really calm your mind and to give a good closure for the end of the day. Whenever the zen classes happen, it’s always at night, like 8-9pm.

Catch Jacelyn at the upcoming instalment of Property Quotient, Redbrick’s real estate seminar series that will be happening on 25 February, 2017. To find out more, click here!


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