Friday, 25 May 2012

the ties that bind

That funny little watercolor of Chang & Eng, the original Siamese twins, really caught my eye: their clothes and hats, not to mention the racket, include every hue in the rainbow except orange! So I added orange (a lovely textured Japanese silk paper that didn't scan well) and stirred in some other stuff.

Fascinating fact about Chang & Eng: They wanted to be separated, because they had different personalities and habits; but doctors always said there must be something vital in the band of tissue between them, so the operation would be too risky. After they died, an autopsy was done. It turned out the band was just fibrous tissue—no nerves, no arteries, no veins, nada.

P.S. I posted this earlier, but I felt something was missing from the collage. I wanted to expand on the theme of Chang and Eng trying to escape from "the ties that bind"—the big rope of grey fibers. My husband suggested a triangle of another color opening up like a road for Chang and Eng to travel on. Pink flowers seemed to do the trick.


  1. I was wondering where it went! It's looking even better with the additional flowery triangle! Top work!

  2. Beautiful collage and such a poignant story to go along with it.

  3. When it disappeared I thought I had been hallucinating! Excellent collage (the revised touch is good) and love the subject matter. I used to work at a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina and for some reason there was much to to-do about Chang & Eng there. They married sisters and between them fathered 21 children! Their death was poignant -- Wiki says: "The twins died on the same day in January 1874. Chang, who had contracted pneumonia, died rather suddenly in his sleep. Eng awoke to find his brother dead, and called for his wife and children to attend to him. A doctor was summoned to perform an emergency separation, but Eng refused to be separated from his dead brother. He died three hours later." You provided a lovely collage and great back-story as usual, Fi!

  4. Lovely intriguing story Fi and beautiful artwork.