Exclusive Interview with the Erotic Artist Pigo Lin on His Sensual View on Art
In two earlier articles we already paid attention to the fascinating art of Pigo Lin (1984). His unique visual language is in line with the aesthetic mission of Shunga Gallery and the type of art that we want to give a stage. That is why it was about time we sat down with the prolific Taiwanese artist and ask him about his motives, interests and influences.
SG: Was art already part of your life from an early age?
PL: Yes, I have been drawing since childhood, especially manga, mostly fight and action scenes. Drawing comics is quite popular among elementary and middle school students in Taiwan, but they are not taught, unless you are going to the specialized departments at the university.
SG: Toshio Saeki, who died earlier this year and the graphic manga artist Suehiro Maruo are important influences for you. What are specific aspects that appeal to you about their art, and is this reflected in your own art?
PL: Yes, these two Japanese artists influenced me a lot, especially Toshio Saeki. To my shame, I only discovered Saeki’s works for the first time when I was in college, but it instantly gave me great excitement. Unfortunately, the university and research institute only teach to become an illustrator of children’s picture books, and therefore my aspirations to become an erotic artist in the future had to be postponed. After graduating from the institute, I worked full-time as a child illustrator for two years. But my income was unstable, and it took a lot of time to make a book. Finally in 2010, I decided to give up the children’s picture books and go to work at the watch company to change my mood. Working at a watch company not only gave me a stable income, but also offered me time to think and breathe, and to look again at my possibilities as an artist. My erotic art also dates from this period (from 2015).
SG: I assume that your are familiar with shunga. What are the aspects of shunga that appeal to you? What are the characteristics of shunga that you find special?
PL: Shunga erotic paintings are influential in Asian culture, especially in China and Japan. My artistic creation is also inspired on it. I like this art form a lot. The designs in shunga mainly show characters having sex in a private space. I think this is in line with how people think about sex in all Asian cultures, people are curious about it but cannot express it. In my own work, I try to modify and adjust the content to be more in line with the modern concept of sex, for example: sexual and female autonomy.
SG: In some paintings you depict a cross over the private parts (genitals). I assume this is a nod to censorship? Is there censorship on eroticism in Taiwan?
PL: Because the work is mainly published on Instagram, in some cases, it needs to meet the Instagram censorship system, so I put a cross on the private parts. The publishing platforms in Taiwan are more stringent. Although it is more free than other Asian countries. Sexual culture is more conservative across Asia, that is why I chose to post on Instagram.
SG: Oh I see, I incorrectly assumed the crosses were intentional.
SG: I love the films of your compatriot and filmmaker Tsai Ming Liang. What is your favorite movie (s)? I mean in general?
PL: I also like movies, and Tsai Ming Liang’s movies are really great !! Asian directors, My personal favorites are Ang Lee and Kore-eda Hirokazu. Their work not only captures the hearts of Asians, but also allows moviegoers in Europe and the United States to understand it. My favorite American movie is Richard Linklater’s trilogy ‘Before Sunrise‘ (1995), ‘Before Sunset‘ (2004), ‘Before Midnight‘ (2013)…very romantic !!
SG: One of our co-producers (Darya) remarked that some of your works ideologically have very much in common with European culture, meaning plots like The Birth of Venus and Daphne’s transformation. Do you recognize this?
PL: Thanks for your compliments Darya, The Birth of Venus and Daphne’s transformation are beautiful works, but in fact I am not inspired by these works. Most of my inspiration comes from “Ukiyo-e”. When it concerns European culture I have been mainly influenced by the illustrations in fairy tale books from Kinder-und Hausmarchen (KHM) * and Hans Christian Andersen.
SG: Up to now I bought three of your pieces (Thriller Novel, Blouse and Whale). Can you tell use a little about their background?
PL: I personally do not watch horror movies or read horror novels because I am scared quickly. If I accidentally see a clip, the horrible picture will stay in my mind and I can’t sleep well. Reading text is sometimes more powerful than the picture. I imagine reading horror novels as if sticky tentacles are sticking out of the book. As long as you are stuck, you cannot move and cannot escape.
PL: I like the sense of fit and formality of the shirt, especially the pictures of the buttons pulling the clothes tightly, making me feel very erotic.
PL: Whales are mammals. This setting alone makes my passions rise. Am I weird?
SG: Are you still watchmaker by day? Or can you live from your art at this point?
PL: I have become a full-time artist since the end of 2018. I am very happy to support my life through the income of art. My dreams have come true.
Thanks a lot for your candor Pigo!
For those who, like us, can’t get enough…
This painting was part of the exhibition《Future Nostalgia》in LA on October 22, 2022
'Cosmopolis' (20 Oct 2021)
Click HERE for more engaging art of Pigo Lin….!!
Besides his unique paintings you can also obtain his limited edition (signed) giclée prints in his Shopify store…!!
*Grimms’ Fairy Tales
Let us know what you think about this interview in the comment box below…..!!
Some of the reactions on Instagram on the interview:
“Good read! I didn’t know you were scared off horror stuff! The more you know ✨”
“Very cool that u worked your way to becoming an artist. Keep the vision.”
“i’m so glad i took the time to visit the website!! so ducking cool!! “