Follow Bound Feet Blues updates at Yang-May Ooi’s new blog at

Bound Feet Blues author and performer, Yang-May Ooi, has launched a new website and blog at The new site brings together all her creative interests and projects into one space.

Yang-May writes:

I will continue to blog about my memoir Bound Feet Blues, just over at the new Tiger Spirit My World blog – so if you’d like to follow my updates about this book, please do check out Tiger Spirit and click through to My World.

What else will you find on the Tiger Spirit blog?

Well, having spent many decades as a creator of work – ie as a novelist, business book author, memoirist, storyteller and stage performer – I want to offer support to others who are, or want to, follow a creative path. So in addition to blogging about Bound Feet Blues and my other books and creative projects, I will also be publishing multi-media content offering tips, inspirations and stories that can fire up others who want to be more creative, productive and authentic in life and at work.

Yang-May Ooi

Tiger Spirit is a resource hub exploring how we can dream wild, work smart and live true. It shares my own journey – which is still ongoing! – as a way to talk about universal issues that are relevant for many others. I will also be interviewing others who work or live in a creative way so we can all benefit from their diverse experiences.

I hope you will join me over at Tiger Spirit and become part of what I hope will be a lively online hub.



About Yang-May Ooi, Tiger Spirit

Yang-May Ooi is a writer, speaker and actionista. She has successfully combined her creative career with her professional career  for over 20 years – as a bestselling author, award-winning TEDx speaker and acclaimed stage performer as well as a respected lawyer and asset manager in the City of London. Tiger Spirit is her resource hub exploring how we can dream wild, work smart and live true in life, art and business. Go to My World for more articles and multi-media content.

Twitter: @tigerspirituk         Facebook:


An intriguing and evocative new video trailer for Yang-May Ooi’s memoir Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes [video]

We are delighted to unveil this new video trailer for Yang-May Ooi’s memoir, Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes. It features photos from the book as well as some from Yang-May’s personal photo albums which we hope evokes the mood and themes of this powerful family memoir.



Yang-May writes:

Writing a memoir isn’t an ego thing for me. Rather, it was a way to look back at my life – and also the lives of the women who came before me in my family – and to make sense of the challenges and heartache as well as remembering the joy and human connections that have made me the creative artist I am today.  I write my own story to transform the personal into the universal.  My hope is that readers will be inspired by the stories in Bound Feet Blues to look back at their own lives and find the moments, stories and people who can inspire *them* going forward.


You can buy a copy of Bound Feet Blues from:


or the publishers website at Urbane Publications

The complete one hour solo performance Bound Feet Blues is now available on YouTube [video]

We are delighted to share the video of the complete one hour solo performance of Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes. It is now up online on YouTube. So if you didn’t manage to get tickets for the live show – or if you did see the show on stage and would like a reprise – here it is for everyone to enjoy.


The show run is now over but you can  BUY BOUND FEET BLUES, THE BOOK – please click on the links below:




Watch the Evolution of a Performance – Bound Feet Blues [videos]

Watch the evolution of writer Yang-May  Ooi as a performer in these three short videos which capture her performance of Bound Feet Blues in its three incarnations – from the very first scratch night performance in March 2014 to the full production in Nov/ Dec 2015.

March 2014 – Scratch Night, Conway Hall

This is the first ever performance of Bound Feet Blues in public. When Yang-May took to the floor, she was trying out an unfinished script without a director and just seeing where the experience would take her. In the audience was one of the producers of the South East Asian Arts Festival (SEA Arts Fest) who invited her to bring the completed piece to the Festival in Oct that year.

Yang-May captures the drama and tension of that first performance in the book version of Bound Feet Blues, available from Amazon.

Oct 2014 – Showcase, Tristan Bates Theatre

The showcase performance was a one night performance at Tristan Bates Theatre, London that was sold out even before the show was widely publicised on the BBC and elsewhere. The showcase was directed by Jessica Higgs and produced by Eldarin Yeong with R&D funding from Arts Council, England. It was part of the SEA Arts Festival 2014. The performance was 4+ star reviewed and its success enabled Yang-May and her creative team to move forward with the three week full production the next year.

Nov/ Dec 2015 – Full Production, Tristan Bates Theatre

The full production ran for three weeks at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Of the 15 performances, 12 were largely sold out with people queuing for returns. The creative team now included Hua Tan who designed the beautiful set and evocative lighting, costumier Carol Alayne  and production manager Crin Claxton. The production was supported by funding from Arts Council, England, THFC (The Housing Finance Corporation) and Maclay Murray Spens. It was part of the SEA Arts Festival 2015.


The show run is now over but you can  BUY BOUND FEET BLUES, THE BOOK – please click on the links below:




Smashing stereotypical portrayals of East Asian women in books and theatre [video]

Yang-May Ooi, writer/ performer of Bound Feet Blues spoke at the launch of the Anglo Asiatic Arts & Heritage Alliance launch in April about “Tiger Spirit Women” – dynamic, intelligent, independent and fierce East Asian women who are the anti-thesis of the stereotypical portrayal of them in books and theatre in Western culture.

Yang-May says: “My creative work is dedicated to smashing the stereotype of the docile, passive China-doll like East Asian woman who exists solely in the domestic sphere and to portraying us as we really are – active agents taking our place in the world, capable, empowered and forces to be reckoned with.”

In her talk, she discusses her two novels, The Flame Tree and Mindgame, and Bound Feet Blues as well as her new theatre and book project Butterfly in Blue Jeans.

You can watch her whole talk in this video below (approx 8 mins):


You can  BUY BOUND FEET BLUES, THE BOOK – please click on the links below:




[Video] Highlights from the 2015 production of Yang-May Ooi’s Bound Feet Blues now up online

We are delighted to share with you highlights from the Nov/ Dec 2015 production of Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes, the autobiographical solo theatre piece by writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi. You can watch the 2 min video below.

The show was directed by Jessica Higgs and produced by Eldarin Yeong with set and lighting design by Hua Tan.

The videographer was Continue reading

Doing the Unimaginable – Bound Feet Blues at the Oxford Literary Festival

Writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi will be featured at the Oxford Literary Festival in a solo event as part of the St Hilda’s Writers Day on Saturday 09 April. Yang-May will perform an extract from Bound Feet Blues and talk about Doing the Unimaginable – how and why women in China practiced the brutal process of footbinding on their daughters for a thousand years.

Yang-May writes:

I’m delighted to have been invited back to Oxford by my old college St Hilda’s as part of the Oxford Literary Festival. Bound Feet Blues opens in Oxford as I stroll across Magdalen Bridge from St Hilda’s to a summer ball with a gang of my friends in our ball gowns with our boyfriends in black tie. So it feels just perfect to be heading back to Oxford to talk about my show and the accompanying book of the same name.

Here’s some blurb:

The brutal practice of footbinding is unimaginable to us today but was the norm for women in ancient China. In her one woman show Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes, inspired by her great-grandmother who had bound feet, writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi explores what led those women to do the unimaginable in breaking and binding their daughters’ feet for the sake of beauty – and why footbinding is still relevant in modern times. In this talk for St Hilda’s Writers Day, she draws from the themes of love and courage in her theatre piece to discuss what it means to do the unimaginable as mothers, daughters and creative artists today. Yang-May will also be performing a short extract from the show.

There’ll also be the chance to buy a copy of the book – and I’ll of course be around to sign your personal copy.

Bound Feet Blues performance photo: Yang-May uses her hands on stage to demonstrate footbinding

If you’re in the Oxford area on Saturday 09 April, it would be lovely to see you at this one hour event. If you’d like to say hello afterwards, please do drop me a line and I’ll keep an eye out for you – or just come up and say “hi”.

If you know anyone in the Oxford area who might be interested to come along, please do tell them about the event. It would be great to see some warm and friendly faces in the crowd.


Bound Feet Blues: Doing the Unimaginable – Yang-May Ooi

When: Saturday 09 April 2016, 12pm (1 hour)

Where: Jesus College, Oxford – Lecture Theatre

Tickets: £12




If you can’t make it you can still Continue reading

How Yang-May Ooi’s great grandmother with bound feet inspired Bound Feet Blues [video]

In the  video below, writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi tells the story of her great-grandmother that inspired her to write Bound Feet Blues.

Yang-May writes:

The show was only one hour long so I made certain artistic choices in portraying my great-grandmother in the theatre performance. Her story is incomplete in the show because I wanted the audience to stay with the moment of transformation rather than seeing how her story ends.

The book of Bound Feet Blues takes great-grandma’s story and extends and deepens it at the more leisurely pace that a long read can offer. So for those of you who Continue reading

28 Days in the Writing, A Lifetime in the Making – Bound Feet Blues, the BOOK [video]

Author Yang-May Ooi talks about how she was able to write the book, Bound Feet Blues – all 420 pages of it! – in 28 days.

This groundbreaking family and personal memoir was a lifetime in the making. The stories span several generations, going back to the young boy who was kidnapped by bandits and the young woman with bound feet who ran away from an unhappy marriage. Yang-May interweaves these ancestral tales with her own personal story as she learns what it takes to become her own woman.

In this video, she gives us a flavour of the book and shares her creative process in bringing these stories to life.

TO BUY THE BOOK, click on the links below:



URBANE PUBLICATIONS – special 25% discount code: shoes

Writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi unboxes Bound Feet Blues, the BOOK [video]

As an author, there’s nothing more exciting than receiving the author’s copies of your book. In this video, writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi unboxes the delivery of 12 author’s copies of Bound Feet Blues, the BOOK.

Yang-May writes:

The books arrived during the last week of rehearsals for the show. I got home late one evening and there the box was. I was exhausted and just wanted to sit down and have something to eat. But seeing that box there perked Continue reading