Saturday, 12 October 2013

Turning Japanese



From Time Out:
How often do you associate the British Museum with sex? Sure, there are some saucy cabinets tucked away but it’s probably not your first port of call for a sexy old time. That’s all about to change with their new show Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art.

A sexually explicit feast of paintings, prints and illustration, the exhibition celebrates an erotically charged style known as ‘shunga’ or ‘spring pictures’. It was produced in Japan between 1600 and the mid-1800s, a time when the country was secluded from the rest of the world, and enjoying its own internal order and culture.

Seen together, the artworks offer a window into a culture that saw sex and sexuality in entirely different terms to polite European society...arrive with an open mind, and be prepared for Shunga’s sometimes funny, sometimes tender, sometimes shocking (there are enlarged genitals, masturbation and even an amorous octopus involved at one point) works of pure art.


Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art is on at the British Museum until 5th January 2014.

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