The project was inspired by a phenomenon happened on a Chinese social network platform. A user has questioned a drawing about a female figure’s pose in a painting publicly. This user believed the design of the pose was meant to attract male audiences via sexual connotation. The word ‘pornographic’ and ‘seductive’ appeared in the further comment of the user multiple times. Discussions about this post immediately raged on.
As I have mentioned in project Mercury Dice, topics involving discrimination of women are extremely sensitive nowadays. Any statement shows, or being misunderstood for any evidence of discrimination of women may result in internet violence immediately.
The user posted several times using inappropriate word criticising even curse the author of the drawing and the author’s supporters. In the beginning, the user strongly questioned if the author is considering women like potential sexual partners. But later the author claimed it was a simply a sketch of a body movement, also indicated that the author is also female.
I actually respect the fact that the user feels uncomfortable seeing this picture. It is her (yes the user is a female as well) personal right to judge things. However, I believe it is unacceptable to launch inappropriate denounce via the internet, especially in a topic that extremely sensitive. The user knew that her speech would cause sensitivity but she still tried to used the factor to support her own benefit and rise the crit to the moral level.
This nonsense has stopped by the end of the day. The questioner deleted her posts then the internet forgets.
As my usual opinion about the current situation of Feminism in China, all statements that try to gain support by deliberately stimulating contradictions between two genders is undoubtfully unacceptable.
Essentially, I believe the incidence was caused due to an immature definition of pornographic. The concept has an unclear standard to be defined. I thought about another incident happened several years before, the CCTV added mosaic to the genital area of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s most famous work David. New Observation Issue 77 commented the process is like a ‘ridiculous self-asexualisation’.
After the incident of David a lot of playful graphic designs were created.
China is a nation that considered traditional values extremely important; meanwhile, the lack of aesthetic education, as well as the classification of adult content, further put the attitude of Chinese people treating sexuality to an embarrassing position. Auditing to cultural content sometimes could be too sensitive to decide whether the material is inappropriate. For example, one of the painting in my life drawing series Marble Quarry will be recognised as an ‘exposure of intimate part’ on social networks due to the realism I demonstrated with my painting techniques. Another thing which is more ridiculous is that, on the artwork sharing blog where my illustration series Mercury Dice was reported viciously, none of these images can be posted. They are all blocked to be ‘inappropriate’.
Under this circumstance, I have created a reverse colour sketch with white chalk on the black background again. I have reproduced several parts of the spine of a girl who is bending over and in the middle of intercourse. My explanation could be considered pornographic enough that if I actually fully demonstrate the scenario I might get into trouble for ‘spreading of pornographic content’. The concern I am talking about is being warned by the service, not merely like my user account being blocked.
But, observing the image, I am confident that 90% of people cannot realise the object I painted. I believe the content I produce is pornographic and inappropriate to some people, but without explanation, the even composition could be confusing for audiences. The project, in a manner of contemporary sarcastic artwork, has mocked self-approbation of people lack of maturity but obtain the ability to create an influential speech; also I have demonstrated the possibility of unscrambling things in an environment without certainty.
There are some painting techniques I actually wanted to talk about in this work. In order to decrease the difficulty of understanding the spine by its structure, during the framing process, some adjustments to the painting have been made. Firstly, I cut the work to a proper size that equal to the whole back of the model in proportion. Secondly, to correctly and clearly mould the texture of the skin, I have taken advantage of the reflective surface of the black paper. Some dust of the black chalk has been applied around the white drawing. Tiny particles significantly reduced the reflection of light which made the central part of the paper relatively brighter. Especially when observing the image from different angles, this process really helped to create a contrast which clarified the shape of the back roughly.