Category: Asian Art and Culture

Erotic Sculpture: On Display or In The Wardrobe?

erotic sculptureArt ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder. It is objective; what you think as artistic may not be aesthetically pleasing to others. Artists see art in erotic sculpture and painting, even during the earliest times. But today, some may think that nudity and phallic symbols are not art, but pornography. It may be difficult to tell if, say an erotic sculpture, was distinctly made for the “surprise factor”, or if the sculptor doesn’t have the faintest idea that the figure can be likened to pornography.

There are some erotic sculptures that can be displayed in the lounge. But most are best kept in the bathroom, in the bedroom, or in the wardrobe, especially if you have kids.

Erotic Sculpture: On Display or in The Wardrobe?

In Canada, an artist found a way on how to transform a mundane bathroom space of your house or condo unit into a something “artsy and playful.” Craig Manhood (Yes, that is his surname. No pun intended.), a fiberglass sculptor, made sensual pieces and erotic sculpture that are not only stunning, but also functional. These were the type of pieces that you will proudly display in high-class brothels.

No one can say when or where the first erotic sculpture was made. The ancient Romans, for instance, see erotic art as a mainstream illustration of talent back then. The explicit wall painting, erotic sculpture and phallic figures unearthed in the city of Pompeii shows that such theme is something you see everyday in the Roman world. But today, our culture lets us see these art pieces as extremely erotic or violent. As such, one couldn’t blame the other for hiding an erotic sculpture in the wardrobe.

In some countries, erotic sculpture is part of their culture. For example, Japan has small netsuke figurines, which are usually crafted from ivory or hardwood. These figurines depict erotic scenes, such as gay sexual intercourse and women performing cunnilingus, among other things. Today’s Japanese people are not ashamed with these erotic sculptures. In fact, they put these figurines on display and leave them out in the open for everyone to see.

Erotic sculpture and our fascination to human sexual behaviour is ingrained in us since time immemorial. Having said that, openly displaying or keeping in the wardrobe such art depends on how we see them.

Asian Art & Culture: Embracing Modernity

Asian-Art-&-Culture-embracing-modernityAsia comprised one-third of the world’s land mass and two-thirds of the world’s population with huge range of languages. The region is divided into geographic and cultural subregions including North Asia, East Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. The important parts of Asian culture are Asian art, music, literature and cuisine. Eastern religion and philosophy play major roles in its culture and tradition. There has been no common history or little unity in the culture and people of Asia. Asian culture is diverse, it ranges from tribal culture to sophisticated civilization and greatly influenced by the culture of neighbouring regions.

Traditional Asian culture like the art, religion, philosophy, laws, literature, politics and history have been learned, preserved and transmitted over time. This traditional culture suffered under ailing economies, by World War. Many Asian countries under European dominance gained their independence by mid-century. These countries were influenced by western politics and started to lose cultural identity. They embraced the cultural characteristics of their conquerors and new culture and arts started to emerge. Asian arts and culture started embracing modernity by remoulding the old cultural system into a new mode. Some Asian countries embraced modernity by merging indigenous cultural elements with Western culture. Modernization occurred in these countries by accepting Western culture which resulted in changes of everyday life.

Asians were exposed to western art, culture and politics which led to modernization influenced by western culture. The adaptation of western systems of law, military and customs started modern and cosmopolitan culture in Asia. Education and migration also contributed to rapid modernization. Western clothes, food, houses and even fashion have been adopted as part of westernization. Traditional Asian art such as painting on glass, woodwork, metalwork, textiles, leather and wall frescoes were considered archaic traditions. Modernity in arts started reshaping and developing new ways that created the Asian contemporary art.

The introduction of telephones, radio, television and the internet hasten Asian modernization. They transformed Asians way of thinking from exposure to western culture. Non-material Asian cultural heritage such as arts, values, beliefs, rituals, social practices and community life were greatly affected by globalization. Traditional culture is important part of history and national identity. Yet this cultural heritage is changing and lost as people move to the urban areas to work. Different Asian cultural groups are emerging and attempting to preserve disappearing art and culture. ChinaVine an interactive website which is a collaboration among University of Oregon, University of Central Florida and other parts in China and United States is sharing Chinese custom and tradition using modern technology.

Non-material cultural heritage is very important because it can’t be recovered once it has been lost. Cultural heritage is the root of cultural identity. The preservation and promotion of cultural heritage has been gaining attention around the world. Asian art and culture although embracing modernity did not want the traditional culture to be lost. Asian community has been recognising the diversity of Asian culture, and active discussion is going on to preserve and promote non-material cultural heritage in this age of globalization. Japan established Japanese Funds-in Trust for the Preservation and Promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage with UNESCO in 1993. It had contributed $15.67 million and implemented 100 projects to ensure the survival of non-material cultural heritage in Asia and the world.