THE HISTORY OF ASIA HOUSE IN ASHEVILLE
Asia House 828 (the area code of Asheville happens to be most auspicious numbers in Chinese) is the end result of a long journey by owners Andrew & JulieAnn Nugent-Head.
Andrew & JulieAnn lived in China for many years, working as part of a not for profit dedicated to preserving the knowledge of the last practitioners there who were still teaching the traditional arts as they were before the arrival of Communism and the dramatic changes the culture underwent soon after.
These practitioners believed that knowledge was like seeds, to be spread as far and wide as possible in the hopes that they would take root and continue to thrive should they die out at their source. They had lived through the ending of traditional China, a Japanese occupation, civil war, the arrival of Communism, the socialization of every aspect of life, and then survived a Cultural Revolution which set out to destroy and replace everything (and everyone) traditional. For a culture that had lasted 5,000 years and seemed eternal, this shock of how everything could be lost in less than 100 years gave these practitioners a deep conviction that the traditional arts had to be planted overseas to be sure they survived even as they vanished in China itself.
Working with the Association for Traditional Studies, these practitioners traveled to the West to teach, hosted intensive trainings in China, and recorded their knowledge in book and video format for posterity. They dreamed of leaving modern China to recreate traditional centers of learning in the West far from the political influences of their home. They poured every ounce of this vision into Andrew & JulieAnn, who returned to the United States after 28 years to fulfill their wishes.
Asia House 828 is this dream come true. We chose Asheville because it is in the Appalachia, the oldest mountain range in the West and still unspoiled and untrampled by the modern world. It is a place where everyone is welcome, a place where community can gather, learning is a focus, and healing can happen. Our dream is to see their vision honored, and the roots of eastern tradition find fertile ground and be free to be as they once were for the benefit of all.