Award winning photographer Jo Farrell’s exhibit BOUND explores a subject that is at once educational, anthropological and taboo: the practice of foot binding in China. Also called lotus feet, foot binding was a custom that became fashionable in the 10th century Song Dynasty, requiring the slow and painful method of bending a foot inwards towards the sole and tightly binding them in cloth to achieve a smaller surface area.

Farrell’s project, which started in 2005, is completely self-funded, a personal account of discovering China’s last women with lotus feet. She has built friendships that go beyond language, culture and age with these surviving bound feet Chinese women, regularly revisiting them through the years. The exhibit, which features not just portraits but also never seen before x-rays, foot prints and related objects.

BOUND will be on exhibit at the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Science from 18 -31 March 2018.