To celebrate the Year of the Tiger this Lunar New Year, we are delighted to present and launch a special, print by Onespace artist, Ruth Cho.
Artwork Details: Ruth Cho, Letting go of the tiger’s tail – 2022
The linocut print Letting go of the tiger’s tail is a play on the English idiom ‘to catch a tiger by the tail’. The phrase originated from the Chinese proverb ‘he who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount’, which is a reference to being in a situation that is dangerous to proceed or escape from. This phrase resonates with the current political situation between Australia and China in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, within the narrative of Letting go of the tiger’s tail, the Australian magpie has finally let go of the tiger cub’s tail and offers the cub a plum blossom as a token of reconciliation.
The plum blossom, which is the national flower of China, has great cultural significance, especially during the Lunar New Year, as it symbolises resilience and perseverance in the face of hardship and adversity. This work contains a mixture of Western and East-Asian expressions and visual styles that are open-ended yet require the viewer to have the cultural and visual knowledge to read and determine the meanings of the images. Though their interaction remains ambiguous and uncertain, the message is hopeful in the cultivation of a harmonious relationship between the two regions and its people.