The five elements are
. Ancient Chinese philosophy uses this theory for a lot of things, from the interaction between internal organs to politics, and Chinese medicine to cooking and food. We use it for designing our environment including clothing.
This theory was born from observing changes in nature. Energy changes during the day-night cycle from night/stillness /water to morning/awakening/wood to day/bright/fire to afternoon/rest/earth to evening/sparking/metal. Also, energy changes during the year cycle from winter/freezing/water to spring/growing/wood to summer/hot/fire to harvest season/nurturing/earth to fall/perfection/metal.
We can see different types of energy in people and things around us. In this image, we see water in flowing fabric, wood in the plant, fire in purple color, earth in rocks, and metal in white color and vase.