Yin and Yang 2014 black and neon orange Biro drawing
South China Tiger Quadriptych
The South China tiger quadriptych includes Yin and Yang, Butterfly Lover, Butterfly Lover Zhu Yintai and Cherry Blossom Girl. All four artworks illustrate The Legend of the Last South China Tiger written by Jane for Save Wild Tigers (SWT) a UK conservation charity.
The quadriptych symbolises the fate of the South China tiger subspecies, which is thought to survive only in captivity, with many tigers bred in tiger farms to supply the illegal trade in fur and body parts. This body of work was also created to raise awareness of the plight of tigers and the vital work of SWT, working tirelessly to ensure all remaining tiger subspecies continue to play with butterflies.
Yin and Yang is the first artwork of the quadriptych and illustrates part one of the legend:
And so the legend of the last wild South China tiger begins …
Under the constellation of the White Tiger of the West, protected by the sacred Tigress Warriors of Yin, the last wild South China tiger cub, Amoy cowered behind the most powerful of the Tigress Warriors for he heard the distant thunder of horses’ hooves approaching. In the East under the constellation of the Azure Dragon, the warriors of Yang rode in search of Amoy. Clouds of dust raised by the galloping cavalry formed Goddesses of Love in the sky, anticipating his capture, for the Azure Dragon prized the bones of the White Tiger’s children. Misguidedly the dragon thought their body parts cured disease and heightened passion and had slain Amoy’s kin one by one. But the Tigress Warriors were brave and fearless and their swords sharp. Amoy’s eyes widened with fear as the cavalry drew closer.
Yin and Yang was inspired by images from the films Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Ang Lee, 2000, Hero Zhang Yimou, 2002, House of the Flying Daggers Zhang Yimou, 2004, Red Cliff John Woo, 2008 and 2046 Wong Kar-wai, 2004. Using her working method of photographing of her TV screen while films play Jane used images of all five films as inspiration for this drawing. Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Faye Wong become the Goddesses in the clouds of Yang. An image of an emaciated farmed tiger reflected on the sword of the most powerful Tigress Warrior represents the fate of South China tigers kept in tiger farms.
Butterfly Lover, Cherry Blossom Girl, a book of The Legend of the Last South China Tiger and Weeping Durga were auctioned in London and Malaysia at Save Wild Tigers events to raise funds for wild tigers.