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10 Masterpieces of Japanese Erotica That May Complicate Your Sex Life
10 Masterpieces of Japanese Erotica That May Complicate Your Sex Life | Art for Sale | Artspace
Nowadays, topics about sex are often considered a taboo in Asia, especially in East Asian countries. Therefore, artworks depicting nudity and sexuality are deemed to be obscene and salacious in these countries. Yet, to the surprise of many, erotic art was once so ubiquitous in Japan. It even became a mainstream in society and appealed to all classes from the ruling class down to the ordinary townsperson. This shockingly explicit type of erotic art, shunga, challenges the boundary of eroticism in any art form, and many of them are mind-blowing even to Westerners. Lovers in summer with reed blind and fan. Kitagawa Utamaro.
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By Artspace Editors. In the Western tradition, the idealized nude and—more explicitly—sex have long been sticking points in artistic discourse across generations—controversial for their beauty on the one hand, and its supposedly sinful nature on the other. In stark contrast, Japanese erotica in paintings and prints have held a ubiquitous position in society, starting with the Heian aristocracy of the ninth century and trickling down to a rising, modern urban middle class. While styles have changed over the centuries, these works are connected by a shared celebration of life's fleeting, earthly pleasures under the term ukiyo-e , or the Floating World.
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