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