For the past eight years I have been photographing some of the last remaining women with bound feet in China. I have interviewed all these women about their foot binding and their lives during the Cultural Revolution and the great famine in China. The majority are between the ages of 80 and 100 years old and are from Shandong and Yunnan Provinces. These women come from peasant backgrounds and have lived incredible lives working in the fields despite their bound feet. Original banned in 1912, the practice of foot binding continued in rural areas until around 1949. So these are some of the last remaining women alive that experienced this tradition. The photographs show that the perfect form of the ‘lotus foot’ was not always achieved, as there were no guidelines and often the mothers implemented this in a very haphazard way. Most of them point out that they had much smaller feet when they were young; a statement of pride in their achievement. This series is a collection of fine art pieces, captured on black and white film and printed as silver gelatin prints. I feel that my work looks beyond their feet and captures a piece of history for generations to come.
March 21, 2015