The Emperor's White Tiger
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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 700mm high x 570mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $35 internationally.
Original painting on loose canvas for sale, 1100 x 900mm, 2014. Click here to inquire about the original.
Sofia painted "The Emperor's White Tiger" with an ink-like paint called flashe on 36 pieces of canvas, joined together to resemble a korowai (traditional Maori cloak) with woven flax and plaited rope detailing.
Minson says she "loved creating this artwork, which became a contemporary art fusion of traditional Pacific, Native American and Asian cultures and art practices. It celebrates what Maori call the 'mauri' or life force of the white tiger - an incredible power animal."
The idea started to form as Sofia was researching ancient Chinese scroll paintings and comparing their hanging form to Pacific tapa cloths and Maori feather cloaks. Chinese culture has been of particular interest to the artist since living in Suzhou, China in 2002 and because her husband has Chinese heritage. She is also interested in the Polynesian migratory connection with South East Asia.
In Chinese culture, the tiger is the king of the beasts and has been presented with a 王 on his forehead for centuries. According to legend, the tiger's tail would turn into white when it reached the age of 500 years. In this way, the white tiger became a kind of mythological creature. It was said that the white tiger would only appear when the emperor ruled with absolute virtue, or if there was peace throughout the world. Because the color white of the Wu Xing theory also represents the west, the white tiger became a mythological guardian of the west.
Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork