Dragon Ate My Baby Girl

2013 Ink on Bristol 11x17
Ink on Bristol

Based on a Chinese folk tale titled “How Chi Li Slays the Dragon.” It’s a story of a giant serpent that terrorized a local kingdom and the only way to appease it was to sacrifice a young girl every year. Then on the ninth year a brave woman named Chi Li volunteers for the role, but instead of giving in to the gruesome fate she fights and kills the serpent, thus saving the kingdom and bringing huge honor and fortune to her poor household. One of the most popular myths, it also was a great source of metaphor for one of China’s major problems today: the notorious One Child Policy.

Started in 1979, it was a move made by the government to curb the booming population that currently boasts of 1.3 billion, in which every household is allowed only one child. And since then it has managed to keep the population from running out of control, but with a hefty price on the social and economic level. One big reason is that, because of Chinese families traditionally desired male child for the purpose of carrying on the family name and inheriting the family business, the first child that turns out to be a girl is either abandoned at orphanages or worse, killed by way of abortion. This has led to an unhealthy male/female proportion in the country, and the government is feeling the sting. Nowadays they have taken steps to slowly dissolve the policy and encourage families to have more children, but the damage may be beyond repair. (There was an interesting Nat Geo doc CHINAS LOST GIRLS that addresses this issue in depth, you can find it on Netflix or YouTube).

As I read about this issue I was reminded of the story I had read back in college, and I found how it resonates well with the whole girl shortage problem in China. No planning or prelim sketches, I made the drawing with brush and ink in just half an hour, relying solely on my old memories of images of dragons I had seen back in the day.

Published by theartistaslisalee

Lisa Lee is an artist and writer based in Southern California. She was educated at Cal State University Long Beach where she received her BFA in Illustration, and originally focused her career goal in animation and/or comic books. After eight years freelancing on various projects from web graphics to concept art she now devotes full time to painting and drawing as well as writing and producing graphic novels. She combines her past experiences in animation and graphic art with the elements of modern masters such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring. Much of her style revolves around Expressionism and Pop Art, and she treats each piece independently of one another; in short, she uses different styles and techniques for different subject matters. Her interests spans a wide array, from social and political issues, popular culture, movies, history, mythology, and her own personal experiences. She tends to shift back and forth between the light and the dark side; her work will often reflect her mood. When not associating herself with art Lisa enjoys movies, listening to music, driving around aimlessly, and occasionally dabbles on weird hobbies such as cooking, jewelrymaking, and picking weeds.

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