ONE might think there's more than a touch of coals-to-Newcastle about the enterprise, but the publishers of a British-based feng shui magazine are pressing ahead with plans to put it on sale in China.
The ancient art of auspicious placement has been practised by the Chinese for more than 3,000 years. Yet on Tuesday the first edition of a Chinese- language version of the monthly Feng Shui for Modern Living will go on sale at newsagents in Hong Kong and Taiwan. A pilot issue for Beijing is also being prepared and a full-scale extension in-to the People's Republic is probable.
"It is a bit like the English deciding to buy a Chinese magazine on the game of cricket," said the magazine's publisher, Stephen Skinner. "I was very surprised and flattered by an approach from the spiritual home of feng shui.
"They were impressed by the way we have tapped into it in the West. We will be printing 60,000 copies, quite a lot for two small off-shore islands and there will be occasional articles from local contributors. In essence, though, it will be a translation of our magazine."
After the Cultural Revolution in China the art of feng shui, with its careful attention to the positioning of furniture and to the angle of exits and entrances, was discouraged on the mainland. As a result Taiwan and Hong Kong are now the world centres of interest in feng shui.
The British magazine is produced by Centennial Publishing and was launched in February. It immediately sold out, reflecting the huge interest in the subject in the West.
The first issue was reprinted and went on to sell 121,000 copies, putting it up among the top 100 best-selling magazines in the country.
In 11 months it has attracted 20,000 subscriptions and it has had licensing approaches from all over Europe.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies