The Secret Garden: Female Artists Share Their Sensual View on Shunga
24 maart 2019 
19 min. read

The Secret Garden: Female Artists Share Their Sensual View on Shunga

I have been examining shunga for a long time now (almost 20 years) and I am still pleasantly surprised daily on the new insights I discover and the endless inspiration this art form provides to talented contemporary artists all over the world.

The Secret Garden

An admirable example of this is displayed in the recently issued book The Secret Garden. Responsible for this publication is Okaasan Books, a small independent publishing company founded by the Swedish artist Senju Shunga (Matti Sandberg) and his wife Anna Sandberg.

Original Perspective

For their second publication they have asked 57 female artists to produce a work of art inspired by ancient shunga. They chose an original perspective since the traditional shunga of the 18th and 19th century were primarily created by male artists for a male audience.

Shunga and Tattoo Art

As there is a strong connection between shunga and the tattoo art, both Matti and Anna are still active as tattoo artists, a lot of the participants in this project are well-known tattoo artists. The images in the book portray a wonderful fusion of discerning styles, techniques and a use of colors that is so characteristic of tattoo art.

On their site they describe the book as follows:

“We invited female artists from all over the world to create a work of art inspired by the traditional erotic art of Japan – Shunga. Each artist was carefully selected by OKAASAN BOOKS in order to assure a broad artistic spectrum as well an emotional depth.   Humor, passion and intimacy is paired with desire and lust as a multitude of styles and techniques come together within the pages of this book. “The Secret Garden” is a unique collection of contemporary erotic art, bound in a beautiful limited edition volume.”

I don’t have have a copy yet but will certainly get one as the images promise a true feast for the eyes!

The following images are some of the gems featured in this collector’s item…

the secret garden

Sea of phalluses’ by the French tattoo artist Alix Ge

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Sleeping with Ghosts‘ (2018) by Andi Soto

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Square‘ (2018) by Yuriko Shirou

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Painting by Barbara Munster

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Contribution to the book ‘The Secret Garden‘ by Jenn Liles

Modern variation on a primitive shunga by Anna Sandberg

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The Dance of Reality‘ by Giada Wood

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Scaredy Cat‘ by Lacey Law

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Cosmic womb‘ by Lorena Morato

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Muganawa‘ by Marine Loup

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Better half ‘ by Maryam Gohar

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Tied beauty‘ by Tina Jiang

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Pussy cats‘ (2018) by Valéria van der Ko

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Snail ’ (2018) by Caterina Molin

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After Kuniyoshi‘ by Alina Bushman

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Shunga love‘ by Brooke Steele

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'1989 ' by Aimee Cornwell

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Tied girl’ by Nella K.

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Watercolor ‘Make Love‘ by Tina Maria Elena Bak

the secret garden daruma

Claudia de Sabe tattoo

'Year of the Rabbit Print (February)' by Claudia de Sabe

the secret garden erotic kitsune

the secret garden senju shunga

the secret garden tied girl with tengu mask

phallus-headed snake

phallus headed monk sitting near a stream

Congratulations to Senju and Anna, they have again succeeded in making a nice contribution to the shunga library.

The book is available (We are a fan, not an affiliate) on the following page..!!

Click HERE for a review on Okaasan Books’ first publication..!!

What is your favorite artwork from the works shown above?

About the author
Marijn is the founder of 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.
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