The Chinese have long conceived of a magical link between mankind and the landscape - that mankind is an integral part of the universe, is swept along and controlled by its flow, and shares its fate. Feng Shui springs from these ideas and seeks to enhance and harmonise with the environment rather than deplete and dominate it. In this sense the ancient Feng Shui practitioners were early environmentalists.
Literally translated Feng Shui means wind and water. This relates to the idea that the landscape has always been, and still is, eroded by the forces of wind and water. Humankind must find a balanced way to live in this changing environment. So, for instance, it was long ago discovered that a house situated halfway up a hill on the north side of the river facing south received optimal sun, was protected from harsh winds, avoided floods and still had access to water crops - and so it was easier to survive.
Feng Shui practitioners will seek to enhance the ambience of their living space through choice of image and proper placement. Generally they will seek paintings of scenic landscapes that depict a successful balance of yin and yang in the natural environment, or paintings that symbolise positive qualities such as good fortune and a harmonious life.