Lotus shoes worn by Chinese women with bound feet represent an intriguing, beautiful and yet at the same time a hideous and deforming aspect of many women’s lives for nearly 1000 years. The examples now in the TRC Collection formed part of an exhibition about the history of footwear, which was staged at the TRC Leiden in 2012.
These tiny shoes (sometimes as small as 6 cm) and related items form part of a larger study concerning dress and identity and how people (both men and women) use their bodies to stress their gender,, marital, social, economic and indeed political status. Lotus shoes encompass all of these subjects and many more.
The following titles provide a good introduction to the fascinating subject of lotus shoes and foot binding. You will find references to other publications in the titles below.
For this online exhibition: