Shunga - The Art Of Japanese Pornography

Shunga - The Art Of Japanese Pornography

If there is one country that has endlessly inspired my design work it is Japan. Last night I was explaining to a photographer how I believed that the work of Australian artist Brett Whiteley was inspired by the form of shunga art from Japan. The word “shunga” literally means “spring pictures” and they are on the interface of art and pornography - a form of Japanese art which appeared from the 1600’s to the early 1900’s. It was often carried in rolls that you opened up or as sets of prints often from woodblocks. The famed woodblock artist Hokusai was one of those artists. The art was often commissioned by the aristocratic class but it managed to trickle down to all Japanese. Wherever there has been advancements in technology in media there has always been pornography as a driver but in shunga the lines between pornography and art are blurred and these images serve as reminders of the tenderness between men and women during sex, the art of love making and of course the beauty and art that is everything Japanese. I am beginning a silk scarf shortly that will be in this vein.
Back to blog