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8 documents | 8 pages

ID: 1
Ressource_Provider: Jérôme Bourgon
Title: Execution of Fu-zhu-li
Date of event: 10 April 1905
Date Accuracy: Exact
Place Continent: Asia
Place Country: China
Place Region: Hebei (Zhili)
Place City: Beijing
Place_Street: Caishikou菜市口
PlaceAccuracy: Exact
EventNature: Execution
Summary: Fu-zhu-li was a guard at the service of the *Mongol prince head of the Aohan (Jehol) banner. On New Years eve (*February 1905), he murdered the prince (essay: The Fu-zhu-li case). He was sentenced to quartering, the penalty prescribed for slaves who had murdered their master. As the photographs show, this was witnessed at close range by a number of witnesses. The photographs are now found, either printed on glass (for the stereos only) or on paper prints (essay: Photographic Processes). In addition, a set of 12 postcards (essay: Postcards), published in Tianjin, was available by 1912. The appalling images were accepted by the postal service, and some cards were actually mailed.
The photographs of Fu-zhu-li's execution added to the sulfurous interest already surrounding the lingchi penalty in the West. A few details on the criminal and the reasons for his sentencing were published by Carpeaux in 1913, together with two photographs. Some details are accurate (the names of the criminal and his victim, the executions date), others are more dubious (essay: The Fu-zhu-li affair) (critical review of Carpeaux). For example, and contrary to what he stated, Carpeaux cannot have been a witness to the execution (essay: Phony eyewitnesses). His story was nevertheless used by Georges Bataille in 1961 as a source on another lingchi execution (* to fiches "pseudo" Fu-zhu-li) (essay: Executions by Lingchi).

  1:Ref.: BOURGON, Jérôme Chinese Executions: Visualizing their Differences with European Supplices
  2:Ref.: MONESTIER, Martin Peines de mort. Histoire et technique des exécutions capitales, des origines à nos jours
  3:Ref.: MATIGNON, Jean-Jacques Dix ans au pays du Dragon
  4:Ref.: CARPEAUX, Louis Pékin qui s'en va

  1:Title: Photographing 'Chinese Torture' Jérôme BOURGON


1:Title: Lingchi C 0 tied to the post
Fu-zhu-li is tied on the post, his face evincint a moving expression of sorrow. He seems well aware, however, not at all stunned by opium.

2:Title: Lingchi C, Arrival2
The only broad angle shot in the set representing Lingchi C (Fu-zhu-li's execution), showing the huge crowd massed at close range of the executioners and the executed. The latter's expression is sorrowful.

3:Title: Lingchi C, 1 in photocard
The man is photographed frontally, in a close up, already tied up to the execution post. Both assistants (only the right one is fully visible) have moved to the side to clear the frame. The crowd of onlookers stands very close in the back.

4:Title: Lingchi C, 1rst cut

5:Title: Postcards serial Les supplices chinois, n° 2
First stroke: The executioner is cutting off the convict's right breast. Both assistants hold the body ; the convict's head hangs down ; the scene is cut at upper thigh level.

6:Title: Lingchi C, 1st cut (b) in photocard
Close up. The left breast has been entirely removed in a circular wound, the executioner holds his knife to the wound; the criminal, head up, looks at him. This is probably the moment when a lethal blow is given to the heart, as shows the flow of blood on this left side, compared to the right side in following pictures. From then on, the convict is probably dead, with his head and corpse maintained high by a complex set of ropes that can be seen in some of the subsequent photographs.

7:Title: Lingchi C, 2d cut (b)
Close up. Taken immediately after the previous one, by a different camera. There is a doubt whether two or three cameras shot this same execution.

8:Title: Lingchi C, 2nd cut (a)
From a distance. he condemned still has his head tipped back, while his chest bears two deep circular wounds, the left one streaming down the whole side with blood

9:Title: Lingchi C, 4th cut
From a distance. Breasts and thights have been made, the arms are being untied to be scorched too.

10:Title: Lingchi C, 5th cut
The chief executioner is about excaving the left arm biceps. Photo made into postcard.

11:Title: Lingchi C, 5th cut (b)
Close up. The condemned has his head tiipped back. The executioner slices into the left upper arm, while his assistants work on the other side. People are cut from the knee down.

12:Title: Lingchi C, 6th cut (b)
The executioner starts to work on the right arm.

13:Title: Lingchi C, 6th cut (b)
Both biceps have been carved out. The executioner, seen sideways, is moving to the left. Framed at knee level.

14:Title: Lingchi C, 7th cut (left arm off)
The Chief executioner has just thrown the left arm, under the gaze of his attendants holding the condemned right arm.

15:Title: Lingchi C, manipulation with rope
After the cutting of the left arm, the chief executioner does something with the rope that an attendant has just provided to him

16:Title: Lingchi C, 8th cut
The chief executioner, seen behind his assistant, is now cutting the right arm at elbow level, the left being already cut off.

17:Title: Lingchi C, 9th cut (left leg off)
The legs are untied to be cut. The second chief executioner cuts the left leg. An assistant maintaint the body in balance with a long cord or wire between the man's legs.

18:Title: Lingchi C, manipulations behind the post
Close up of assistants holding the condemned.

19:Title: Lingchi C, Untying ponytail from the pole
Assistants untie the convict's ponytail from the pole, which kept the condemned from moving and contributed to keep him straight alike a living man, before proceeding to beheading.

20:Title: Lingchi C, untying the body
Arms, legs, and finally the head having been cut, an attendant proceeds to untie the upper string holding the body to the galley, thus grotesquely substituting his own head to the elapsed one.

21:Title: Lingchi C, view on remains basket in photocard
The body parts, gathered in a basket, are exposed for a crowd to view.

Related Textual (2)

1      Ressource_Provider: Jérôme Bourgon
    Internal_Type: OCR

2  Title: Découpage de Fou-Tchou-Li
    Ressource_Provider: Jérôme Bourgon
    Internal_Type: OCR

Asia --> China --> Hebei (Zhili) --> Beijing

Derniére modification le : 2006-09-25

  Directeur éditorial: Jérôme Bourgon / IAO: Institut d'Asie Orientale
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