W120xH650mm, China

Gold and lacquered wood carving is a craft specialized in the Chao Zhou area; lacquer are applied on the wood carving before gold leaf is gilded on.  The carving are used to decorate items from furniture to architecture.  One of the theme for the wood carving are popular legends and scenes from opera.  This particular wood carving tells the story of Hua Mu Lan (made even more popular by Disney in the movie Mulan).  In the Northern dynasty, there were a lot nomad attacks in the north, one male from each family are required to be drafted to war.  The girl Mulan’s family has an elderly father and a very young brother, Mulan decided to take upon the duty, disguised herself as a male and went to join the army.  After a 12 years battle, the war was won and Mulan triumphantly returned, only then did her army mates realized she was in fact a female.