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Empress Wu Ze Tian

Title: Empress Wu Ze Tian
Year: 1999
Media: Coloured pencils

A costume fit for Wu Ze Tian, who reigned for a period in Tang Dynasty.
About Empress Wu: www.chinavoc.com/history/tang/women.htm

Keywords/ phrases of values for this piece:

Imperial - Colourful - Extravagant - Artisan - Chinese Embroidery

Brocade with embroidery is the main attraction, boasting the fine work of Chinese dressmaking.

Common motifs such as the wave patterns, clouds, hills & geometric shapes.

The bound lotus feet in platform shoes were another feature for Chinese women who were considered to have a higher social standing.

Appliques of 2 dragons are used, 1 for the head gear & another, around the skirt. The 2 dragons in her life were Emperor Tang Taizong & his son, Li Zhi, who succeeded the former as Emperor Gaozong & made Wu Ze Tian his empress.

In ancient China, the dragon motif was exclusive to its emperors. However, since Empress Wu jointly ruled with Emperor Gaozong & ascended the throne after his demise, as the sovereign & supreme ruler, it was well-suited for her.