The stripes were painted on with spray paint, since this was an urban setting. After I painted the striped, I realized they also symbolized stretch marks, and the tribe of women mothers. The stripes also reference the scientific word "streak" for a group of tigers. On the cheeks of each figure, I inscribed the Chinese characters for Tiger and Mother, since in the wild, when scientists identify tigers, they describe their markings as caligraphy. I thought I would paint the Tiger character on the right cheek of each figure, and the Mother character on the left cheek of each one, since you would read left to right, and facing the Tiger Mother figures, the Tiger character would be on the left, and the Mother character would be on the right.
As to the proportions of my figures, as you can see below, the Tiger Mother, maquette is a wood sculpture, that has a very warm , maternal feeling. I used this as a model for the larger creations in styrofoam that were covered in cement.
The bases were made out of wood, approx 4'x4'. The bases were painted to match the sculptures, one black, one red. The black and white tiger was mounted on the red base, and the red and white tiger was mounted on the black base, since tradition and love are intertwined with mother hood, which these sentinels imply. In two dimensions, the red tiger has black stripes and the black tiger has red stripes, but the sculptures posed more challenges to resolve.
Inspired by the Mother Church, Tiger Mothers, stood guard opposite one another at the Children’s fountain on the Christian Science Plaza from May-October 2013. Fierce and protective as wild animals, but loving, warm and human, these sentinels are a tribute to Amy Chua’s recent book, The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.