Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Creation of "The Last South China Tiger"

Famed body paint artist and photographer Craig Tracy created a stunning image of a South China Tiger in aid of Save China’s Tigers Rewilding and Reintroduction project, and to mark the onset of the Chinese Year of the Tiger, coinciding with the Valentine’s day this year.

Here are photos showing how he created the painting.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

“The Last South China Tiger”

Body Paint Tiger Art Donated to Save China’s Tigers

Famed body paint artist and photographer Craig Tracy created a stunning image of a South China Tiger in aid of Save China’s Tigers Rewilding and Reintroduction project, and to mark the onset of the Chinese Year of the Tiger, coinciding with the Valentine’s day this year.

The awareness campaign has been organized by Save China’s Tigers, a charitable foundation dedicated to saving the Chinese tiger, as well the entire eco-system in which it presides as the King of Beasts.

“I initially wanted to call for volunteer models to come forward and have their body painted into tigers to produce a 2010 calendar along with real tiger images. But upon seeing Craig’s breathtaking work in a local newspaper, I thought this was just the right artist we needed, as Craig is two artists in one - painter and photographer”, describes Save China’s Tigers founder, Li Quan of the campaign which also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the charity. “I was pleasantly surprised to get a very positive and spontaneous reply from Craig, whose favourite animal is also the tiger”.

New Orleans based Craig Tracy said of his creation: “When I learned from Li Quan of the plight of the South China Tiger, I wanted to be part of the effort to rescue this most ancient tiger in the world and a cultural symbol of China from extinction.“

The South China Tiger is an iconic symbol in Chinese tradition and culture. This magnificent animal numbered less than 30 in the wild and around 80 in captivity, although some organizations have declared it extinct. The Chinese Year of the Tiger occurs every 12 years and it embodies courage, passion, self-reliance, friendliness, hope and resilience.

Tracy conceptualized the campaign, selected three volunteer models and donated this amazing image to Save China’s Tigers. Signed limited edition fine art prints of this image will be available in the art galleries that represent Tracy, who has pledged portion of all his proceeds to the South China Tiger Rewilding Project.

Tracy’s revolutionary painting technique titled “Painted Alive” incorporates the use of a live human bodies being painted and inserted into a background. A photo is taken creating his limited edition Fine Art. His style is ever evolving with each and every piece he creates.

Li Quan says, “I hope this stunning work will inspire people to help our cause.”

SCT is offering a Giclee photoprint on canvas for this amazing painting. Please visit SCT E-shop for purchase detail.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Dolphins, Sharks and Men

On the Virgin Atlantic flight back to London from South Africa, I watched two documentaries. One was "Life" by David Attenborough, and another was an award winning documentary called the "Cove".

As usual, "Life" was a beautiful film with spectacular images showing how animals, including insects, manage to find ways to survive-defending against enemies, acquiring food, finding mates, etc. The beauty of this planet and the animal kingdom was moving beyond words can describe.

"The Cove" on the other hand invoked totally different feeling in me, a feeling of resentment towards our base human behaviours. The film tells the story of a group of international activists led by a former dolphin trainer trying to stop dolphin slaughter in Japan, where 23000 dolphins get trapped, harpooned and sold as whale meat every year in a place called Taiji where sea gulf became a blood bath during such dolphin harvest season. The cruelty of this human act astounded and angered me, the bravery of these activities inspired and encouraged me, and the sufferings of the dolphins brought tears to my eyes and heartache to my soul. Is this what humanity and civilization are all about -treating intelligent fellow earth citizens with such barbarity??

Dolphins are extremely intelligent, probably more so than even humans. They are proven to be self aware, and their sonar system can "see" through objects. There have been many instances where dolphins saved humans from dangerous situations such as shark attacks. The killing still goes on now despite the heroic actions of these activists, as money of the whaling nations can buy power, even though it has been scientifically proven dolphin meat contains high level of mercury due to sea water pollution and prey fish poisoning and is harmful to health.

Speaking of mercury poisoning, it reminds me of shark fin harvesting which is also extremely cruel. Sharks' fins are cut off and then thrown back into water to languish in pain and die. To spare the embarrassment of the big organization I am talking about below, I will also refer the small organization "smallish". A few years ago, a smallish wildlife organization had some scientific research done which uncovered the detrimental effect of shark fin soup to human health also due to high level of mercury in its body, which cause mental retardness in babies, male infertility and etc. However, because this research was done by someone else-a small organization, this big US wildlife organization refuses to publicize it or act on the findings.

I never understand what's tasty about shark fin soup. But even if it did taste better than soybean noodles, and even if cruelty to sharks is not an issue, I would think humans are reluctant to poison themselves and give birth to retarded babies at the least? But I could be wrong.

Regardless of all above, whether we humans can treat animals with kindness or not is a true measure of a nation's level of civilisation.

"Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." --3rd said the 3rd U.S. President Thomas Jefferson.