Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Golden Lotus shoe (watercolor on paper)

I love history and when i read, i tend to gravitate towards stories of sorrow or hardship. For a while, i tried to stay away from such weighted stories, but when i look back now, i realize that reading these stories gave me a great sense of appreciation for how good my life is - for how far we've come.

There are stories of suffering in every culture. When I first read about foot binding in China, one of the first things that came to mind was how easy it is for human beings to follow - often without question - and how deeply rooted belief systems can be. I wondered about the chinese mothers, binding their daughters' feet... did they feel sad or guilty about the pain they were causing or were they proud to be grooming their daughters to become chosen ones, Golden Lotuses?

The last line of my writing isn't visible, but it reads: I don't consider myself a feminist, but whenever i read stuff like this - i could easily become one.  :-)


  1. Your shoe looks wonderful - really gives me the feeling of ancient China. My mother had a costume jewelry business and was often interested in what prostitutes were wearing because she often found they set trends in fashion. Seems like that has been the tendencies since the 10th century.

  2. A fantastic sketch, Pauline! And beautiful, neat writing too.

    I'm so glad they banned foot-binding back in 1949....such a torturous practise. I remember watching an older B&W movie once and it had a segment where a young girl was having her feet unwrapped for a bath and then wrapped again...so much pain. It was the first I'd heard of foot-binding. My Mum explained it all to me at the time and it horrified me.

    I love reading about history too particularly Native American. Horrible things continue to go on in this world today but it's comforting to know some practises have at least been abolished.

    ~ Serena xo

  3. I remember reading about foot binding years ago, when I was just entering high school. I couldn't believe what I was reading. So glad that tradition is no longer the norm.

    Your piece came out beautifully. All the intricate details on such a small shoe, really emphasizes what you were saying. Wonderful job!

  4. Beautiful art and I agree with your views...''without question'' can lead to so much suffereing. It would have been hard though, to have made a stand! History so often makes us appreciate what we have today, though there are still cruel practises going on.
    Thanks for such a thought-provoking post!

  5. beautiful page and lovely process... I went through a phase of reading Chinese stories until Sinus Man banned me because they made me so mad... it is a great reminder of how good things are and this was a great post.... you are just getting better and better Pauline!!