The Lingnan Penjing Academy has recently opened in Lue

TREE-CHANGE: Philippe Tot is bringing Chinese culture to Lue, Mudgee and the Central West. Photo supplied.

TREE-CHANGE: Philippe Tot is bringing Chinese culture to Lue, Mudgee and the Central West. Photo supplied.

Tucked on the far side of Lue, and in a building that has stood empty for years, is the Lingnan Penjing Academy of Australia – Lue’s very own slice of Chinese culture.

The brainchild of Philippe Tot and developed through the move that he made with his family from the suburbs of Sydney, the Lingnan Penjing Academy of Australia was established with “the sole intention of expanding the mind of the artist and to enlighten the soul”.

Philippe, who previously had a bustling academy in the heart of Newtown, moved to Lue after falling in love with the town over a number of years.

“We moved here this year because we’d had enough of Sydney life and the way that city is going,” Phillipe said.

“I have two young boys and we fell in love with Lue, and Mudgee, and thought it was the place that we could raise our kids, my wife and I. That is the main reason that we are here – for the relaxation and the family life.”

The tree-change from the streets of Sydney to the beautiful landscape of the Central West was not one that Philippe and his family leaped into, but rather was a romance over many years.

“Considering we were contemplating moving to France, where I’m originally from, this move was always going to be a big one,” he admitted.

“This is a life change with us, and we’re here for the long-haul. We thought that coming here we could assist the tourist area with something that the west doesn’t have at the moment.

“Lue is the perfect little spot and we thought we could bring more people to it and let them experience the town.”

The academy turor is excited to get started in the lessons and to start building a new student base in the Central West with what they have to offer at the academy.

“We have eight week courses that teach people how to use feng shui and learn meditation and chi gong, and how to develop a spiritual connection with China,” he said.

“This comes through the lessons that we teach here, through all the difference cultural experiences and our teachings are one body and a structured syllabus that delves into the history and lineage of China and what they undertake in their culture.”

The next sessions at the academy begin Thursday, June 8, with times at 6-8pm, or Saturday, June 10, with sessions run from 10am-12pm.

Term fee is $270 for Penjing (Chinese Bonsai), and there are discounts for pensioner and students ($240).

To enrol head to or contact Philippe Tott at 0404157822.