Seducing the dragon - Anthony Van Lam

Anthony Van Lam

Seducing the dragon

Framed: 73 x 53 cmWatercolour and ink on archival paperSoldThe story of foot binding began in the Song Dynasty (960–1127). A dance of seduction to lure Emperor Li Yu. It was the courtesan Ya Ning who successfully captured the Dragon with her dancing. It triggered the main influence of China's long treacherous journey, a journey that tormented young females for many generations. A generation of sacrificial beauty. It became the birth of the foot binding "The Golden Lotus Shoe Saga!

As the story was told, the Emperor was weakened by Ya Ning's trance as she bound her feet in the shape of the New Moon! She was believed to be dancing on a 6ft Lotus festoon with ribbons and precious stones heavily set to mark this occasion! Her dancing and her bound feet were celebrated as she glided on the festoon. It was the most beautiful and most seductive sight ever. This becomes the desires and motivation of all civilians and their demise generations later!

Achieving this procedure, you will be desired as a perfect lady in waiting. You will be fertile and married into a wealthy family, and your whole family will be more affluent.

This painting in Shades of Blue shows the Courtesan Ya Ning with a seductive stare. Behind her, there are dancing cranes famous for their mating dance. The 'Longpao' on display symbolizes the Emperor. Also, a faint silhouette of her delicate Lotus shoe is indented to remind of her sacrifices. She is bound by the grip of the dragon sash, which symbolizes the foot binding and the love and protection of the Royal Highness!