Aiko Robinson Offers a New Strong Voice in Modern Shunga
30 April 2021 

Aiko Robinson Offers a New Strong Voice in Modern Shunga

The young Japanese/ New Zealand artist Aiko Robinson (1993), living in New Zealand, represents a fascinating new voice in the contemporary shunga realm. Her drawings and prints, in which she uses the same techniques and aesthetic idiom of the traditional Japanese shunga masters of the 19th century, depict faceless coital engagement in a unique way.

Aiko Robinson lithograph

Untitled‘ (2017), woodblock print on paper (Source: aikorobinson.com)

Faceless

As humans our focus is mainly on other humans, so when see an image including a human figure we’re immediately drawn to it. In Robinson’s work the human figures are only shown in fragments and or close-ups of bodies, often hidden under foliage, that leave much to the imagination of the viewer to fill in for themselves.

Aiko Robinson shunga

Pillow picture #1‘ (2020), watercolour on paper

‘Provocation’

Robinson’s interest in shunga arose when she sought to counter the criticism of her university teachers that her work was “too safe” and “too cute.” What initially started as a ‘provocation’ caught fire and shunga became a passion. She admires how traditional shunga echos the consent and glorification of sex in Shinto culture, how it values love, mutual pleasure and equality.

Aiko Robinson shunga prints

Is love a tender thing? It is too rough‘ by Aiko Robinson, 2019, Pen and colour pencil drawing on washi paper (Source: pggallery192.co.nz)

Romanticized Visions

Robinson is fascinated by the association of shunga with the season of fertility and new life. She likes to examine how these romanticized visions of the classical shunga artist might compare to dominant ideas concerning pornography in modern society. On her site Robinson explains,’I think that the desire to have sex is not only normal but something wonderful and to celebrate. The curiosity to look at sexual material is human and healthy. When sexual desires and fantasies are repressed it can be damaging to our intimate relating and can lead people to feel frustrated and and perhaps even critical of others. I want to provide a platform for people to talk about sex in a open and positive environment.’

Virtuosity

To achieve this goal she uses her virtuosity and ingenuity, and also the inspiration from the rich history of 250 years of shunga art.

Aiko Robinson shunga art

Afternoon Delight’ (2017), woodblock print on paper (milfordgalleries.co.nz)

Aiko Robinson woodblock

Nuts growing in trees‘ (2017), woodblock print on paper (milfordgalleries.co.nz)

love looks not with the eyes

Love looks not with the eyes‘ (2018), Lithograph (Source: pggallery192.co.nz)

Aiko Robinson artist

Love at first sight‘, by Aiko Robinson, 2019, Pen and colour pencil drawing on washi paper (Source: pggallery192.co.nz)

Aiko Robinson woodblock prints

Getting wet‘ (2018), pen and colour pencil drawing on washi paper (Source: aikorobinson.com)

losing my mind Aiko Robinson

Losing my mind‘ (2014). woodblock print on paper (Source: milfordgalleries.co.nz/)

Aiko Robinson erotic

Head over heels‘ (2014), woodblock print

Aiko Robinson mushrom

Like a mushroom in a field of pansies‘ (2015), watercolour, ink and coloured pencil on paper (Source: aikorobinson.com)

shunga aiko robinson

Like a lily in a deep valley‘ (2015), watercolour, ink and coloured pencil on paper (Source: aikorobinson.com)

artist aiko robinson

Like an eagle in flight‘ (2015), watercolour, ink and coloured pencil on paper (Source: aikorobinson.com)

Aiko Robinson drawing

Untitled drawing (2019) (Source: aikorobinson.com)

shunga art aiko robinson

Hidden whispers‘ (2018), copperplate etching and chine colle on washi paper (Source: aikorobinson.com)

Aiko Robinson New Zealand

Ecchi etching #2‘ (2018) ​copperplate etching and chine colle on washi paper (Source: aikorobinson.com)

shunga prints aiko robinson

Like Mushrooms and Mussels’ (2017), Watercolour, colour pencil and ink

Aiko Robinson watercolour

​‘Like a Pussy Cat’ (2017), Watercolour, colour pencil and ink,

Click HERE and check out many other fascinating female shunga artists….!!

On the artist’s site you can discover much more of her work…!!

Sources: aikorobinson.com, Andrew Jensen

Let us know your thoughts on Aiko Robinson’s shunga art in the comment box below..!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of shungagallery.com. With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
Courcelle
By

Courcelle

on 30 April 2021

I do not like cut heads, in drawings or photos. This is not my favorite page B Courcelle

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 30 April 2021

Thanks Bruno. I thought you're a fan of her work.

Alexandre Rodrigues
By

Alexandre Rodrigues

on 30 April 2021

These headless bodies are a clear reference to the Japanese artists' obsession with beheading and mutilation. Such a preference can be seen in the images of Kusōzu and in the Japanese artists' preference for the representation of fragmented bodies in the works of Western artists of the 19th century, as Rodin. These headless bodies can also be a reference to Durahan, the type of mythological creature in Irish folklore, which the Japanese are very fond of. In addition, there is black humor in this type of representation, which I love.

Marijn
Ryan
By

Ryan

on 2 May 2021

Or she just isn't good at drawing and carving faces yet

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 2 May 2021

Thanks Ryan. I'm pretty sure this isn't the case, given the great skill with which she renders the rest.

Darya
By

Darya

on 30 April 2021

Deformed bodies grown into the landscape recall Dali a bit

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 30 April 2021

Tnanks Darya, nice comparison.

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