Oil on Canvas | 122cm x 122cm | The Cicada and the Plum Series
The second in a series of works depicting the transition of Imperial China; namely its extraordinary, gloriously isolated way of life into the modern era, and the real life protagonists who played out each role in all their unique eccentricities. The Dowager Empress, Cixi, is one such figure, controversial at best, she sits on her throne weighing up the influences that were to bring about the demise of her empire.
As with much of Melissa's work photographic realism is mixed with flat detailed pattern work. The realistically painted large opium bud and the galleon juxtapose the two dimensional rendering of the Dowager Empresses tunic.