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The Legend of the last South China Tiger by Jane Lee McCracken

Written and Drawn especially for SAVE WILD TIGERS - The legend of the last South China Tiger by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Yin and Yang’, 2013, Black and Neon Orange Biro Drawing

And so the legend of the last wild South China tiger begins …

Under the constellation of the White Tiger of the West, protected by the sacred Tigress Warriors of Yin, the last wild South China tiger cub, Amoy cowers behind the most powerful of the Tigress Warriors. Amoy can hear the reverberation of horses’ hooves coming closer. In the East under the constellation of the Azure Dragon, the warriors of Yang ride out in search of Amoy. Clouds of dust raised by the galloping cavalry form Goddesses of Love in the sky, who anticipate his capture; for the Azure Dragon prizes the bones of the White Tiger’s children. Misguidedly he thinks tiger parts cure disease and heighten passion and has slain Amoy’s relatives one by one. But the Tigress Warriors are brave and fearless and their swords are sharp.

Amoy’s eyes widen with fear as the cavalry draws closer. ‘Butterfly Lover’, 2014 Black and Neon Orange Biro Drawing. Amoy has survived and thrived under the protection of the Tigress Warriors and grown into the most magnificent male tiger that ever lived in China. He rolls on his back in the sunshine and plays with butterflies. Softly the music of the ‘Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto’ drifts over him and turns into musical notes glistening on his sleek fur. Then, the butterflies begin to transform and suddenly the beautiful face of Zhu Yingtai appears on the wings of the first butterfly. Amoy is so entranced by her beauty, he begins to dream of a mate. All of a sudden the face of the most beautiful tigress he could ever imagine emerges on the wings of the second butterfly. Zhu Yingtai and Liang Shanbo, the ‘Butterfly Lovers’, begin to appear on his fur. Amoy smiles – he rolls over and dreams of his mate and the survival of his species, and continues to play with butterflies.


Jane wrote this legend especially for Save Wild Tigers. ‘Yin and Yang’ was inspired by images from the films ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’, Ang Lee, 2000, ‘Hero’, Zhang Yimou, 2002, ‘House of the Flying Daggers’, Zhang Yimou, 2004, ‘Red Cliff’, John Woo, 2008 and ‘2046’, Wong Kar-wai, 2004. She took her own still photographs of all five films and used them as inspiration for this drawing. Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Faye Wong become the Goddesses in the clouds of Yang. The fate of some captive South China tigers is reflected on the sword of the most powerful Tigress Warrior. ‘Butterfly Lover’ the second drawing made specially for Save Wild Tigers, was inspired by the epic and moving ‘Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto’, Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, 1959 (梁祝小提琴协奏曲 the Chinese title appearing on the fur of Amoy’s shoulder). The face of the heroine Zhu Yingtai from the old Chinese legend ‘Butterfly Lovers’ is that of Faye Wong from ‘2046’. Jane’s drawings symbolise the fate of the South China tiger subspecies, which is thought to survive only in captivity but also carries a message of hope; that Save Wild Tigers are working tirelessly to ensure other tiger subspecies will continue to play with butterflies.

These images will be released later this year as new designs for Jane’s luxury fine English China limited edition plate series, as the ‘South China Tiger’ diptych made by THE NEW ENGLISH of Stokeon- Trent.

'Butterfly Lover' is the second Biro drawing in the diptych 'South China Tiger' donated to save wild tigers by Jane Lee McCracken. A series of Luxury Limited Edition 20 signed prints are available to buy on Janes website with ALL profits from each print sold donated to SAVE WILD TIGERS. 

Find out more by clicking on this link . 

'Butterfly Lover', Luxury Limited Edition of 20 Signed Prints, £225 inclusive P&P. 


THRIVE features on the ITV London news

The news story features Lauren Baker and Save Wild Tigers founder, Simon Clinton, talking about the incredible art work and the artists that have come together to raise vital funds for such an important cause. 

Thank you again to all our wonderful artists and volunteers who made this happen.

Please take a look at the link below and please share -


After months of hard work, tonight we are launching our 2014 Save Wild Tiger Art Exhibition: THRIVE.

Curated by Lauren Baker, the exhibition shows some truly incredible pieces of tiger inspired art which we hope will raise awareness for the species. We are very lucky to have 20 talented artists working with us on this and we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone of them. 

You can visit the show from tomorrow (14th May) until Sunday (18th May). 


The Sanderson Hotel

50 Beners Street



All of the fabulous work will be available to bid on throughout the exhibition until the 20th May. For more details please email

Make sure you pop along to the Sanderson and take a look!

Thank you to Experience Days!

Many thanks to Experience Days for their generous donation towards our raffle of a vintage flight experience for our Save Wild Tiger Art Exhibition launch tonight!

For more information on other fantastic experiences you can enjoy, go to their website:




This year we are very lucky to have an incredible group of artists working with us to help save wild tigers. These talented individuals have come together and created an amazing array of tiger inspired art works which will be exhibited at the Sanderson, London.
Our 2014 SWT art exhibition artists include: AP, Cassandra Yap, Chapter, Chiara Lisa Perano and Bellerby & co, Chris Wright, Claire Bentley Smith, Clara Bacou, Jane McCracken, Laura Lian, Lauren Baker, Magnus Gjoen, Mark Powell, Mikey Brain, Otto Schade, Pampa Louzao, Roger Hooper, Rohan Chhabra, Shannon Rose Lane and Yanskiy
THRIVE:14th - 18th May 2014
Open each day from 9.30am - 7pm
This is a FREE event open to all (although donations are very welcome!)
All the art work will be sold in aid of Save Wild Tigers on the 20th May at our Mango Tree tiger dinner although anyone can place a bid before this date as part  of our ongoing silent auction which will run from the 14th to the 20th of May. You can place a bid either online (by emailing or by visiting the exhibition itself and placing a bid at the Sanderson. 
Exhibition location:
The Sanderson Hotel, 
50 Berners Street
If placing a bid remotely, please email with the following information:
- Your name
- Your email address
- A contact telephone number
- The title of the piece you would like to bid on 
- The artists name
- Your bid (in £GBP)
Please take a good look at the gallery here -  - these are some of the incredible art works that will be exhibited at THRIVE. If you scroll over each piece you will see its title and the name of the artist who created it. If you are out-bidded we will email you to let you know in case you would like to bid again.  Many thanks and happy bidding!