For a thousand years, Chinese girls had their feet bound to keep them as small as possible. Europeans looked at this ideal of beauty with a mixture of fascination and astonishment. In the 19th century, doctors also became interested in the so-called ``lotus feet``. Many such specimens can still be found in scientific collections today.

The exhibition shows these sensitive things against the background of social, colonial and medical history. It examines foot-binding as a situated practice that not only restricted women but also had an identity-forming effect. One focus is on the interplay of self-perceptions and foreign perceptions and the intertwining of Chinese and European emancipation movements: Parallel to the initiatives for ``foot liberation``, women in Europe fought against the corset. The exhibition gives women a voice. Artistic positions by Zhang Gong, kate-hers RHEE and Zhang Rui enter into a dialogue with the exhibition and open up the perspective on beauty norms and the conditioning of bodies in the present.


A cooperation of Tieranatomisches Theater der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, MARKK Museum am Rothenbaum. Künste und Kulturen der Welt, Kunstuniversität Linz<. Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Curators: Jasmin Mersmann, Evke Rulffes, Felix Sattler
Team TA T (project lead), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Team MARKK: Barbara Plankensteiner, Susanne Knödel, Gabriel Schimmeroth
Artists: kate-hers RHEE, Zhang Gong and Zhang Rui
Scientific advisory board: Han Congyao, Mireile Flitsch, Dorothy Ko, Carina Phillips, Thomas Schnalke, Susanne Wernsing, Zhu Yijie