TOKYO LADY CHATTERLEY
“Curvy Bitches inspired by 1970’s Japanese porn movies painted on glass cabinets salvaged from the British Museum”
Exhibition dates: 30th Sept–7th Oct, 2011; Opening Night: 6pm, Friday 30th September, 2011
For further info contact: Matthew Mcfarlane; Tel: 07 400 969 196; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org link to facebook page URL: http://tiny.cc/tzbfwSAKI, a Tokyoite turned London artist, makes her solo debut with a show that takes its title and inspiration from romantic Japanese porn films of the 1970’s. Featuring voluptuous, “curvy bitches” on glass frames salvaged from the British Museum, her work fuses Japanese erotica with a whiff of Victorian curiosity cabinets.
SAKI says: “I am inspired by a series of Japanese pornography films known as “pinku eiga” or “Romantic Porn”. They are not just erotic films; they also have crazy but good story lines. Each film has a crazy title and stars an iconic glamorous woman. My show's title Tokyo Lady Chatterley is taken from one of the film’s titles*, and each painting’s title references one of the films.” (*Exact title: Lady Chatterley in Tokyo.)
Pink pornography – financial pressures on the Japanese film industry in the 60’s and 70’s led otherwise ‘respectable’ film studios to venture into low-budget pornographic films. Shot in the space of a week, each film was around an hour long and contained about 4-6 sex scenes. Japanese censorship laws that forbade showing genitals and other explicit acts meant that directors obscured sex scenes using artfully placed objects or techniques such as ‘fogging’. This led to the creation of a ‘romantic’ genre of soft-porn films and an aesthetic quite unlike the more direct depictions in Western pornography; consequently the films sometimes enjoyed a broader audience.
"I like painting these sexy, curvy women simply because I love these shapes from 50’s pin-up girls, Playboy Playmates and calling cards in public telephone boxes. I am passionate when it comes to drawing women and their body shape,” says SAKI.
Erotica enjoys a long tradition in both SAKI’s native Japan and her adopted Britain; from saucy Victorian playing cards to erotic woodcuts by Floating World artists such as Hokusai’s The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife depicting a woman being pleasured by multiple octopi. (Hokusai is better known for his series One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji). Modern incarnations of erotica range from phone sex calling cards in London’s red telephone boxes to otaku-friendly maid cafes in Tokyo’s Akihabara district.
SAKI’s Tokyo Lady Chatterley imagery owes more to the aesthetic of street art, manga and Charlie’s Angels, but the effect is more or less the same. The combination of these shamelessly sexy broads painted on sturdy museum cabinet glass salvaged from one of Britain’s cultural icons is akin to encountering the archetypal stern librarian who removes her glasses, shakes down her hair and begins unbuttoning her blouse... But if the Victorian curiosity cabinet enabled viewers to disguise their voyeurism as self-edifying ‘scientific interest’, SAKI’s unabashedly sexy paintings and drawings simply ask us to watch, admire – and enjoy!
EXHIBITION DATES & LOCATION for TOKYO LADY CHATTTERLEY:
Exhibition dates: Friday 30th Sept–7th Oct, 2011. Opening Night: 6pm, Friday 30th September, 2011
Address: Silwex House, Quaker St, Tower Hamlets, London EC1 6SN
Closest Tube: Shoreditch High St; Liverpool St.
SAKI has a background in the fashion industry, having worked as a make-up artist for seven years in Tokyo, New York and London before switching from faces to canvas. “I wasn’t satisfied with my career so I started to paint.”
SAKI, who is also a fixture on the London cycling scene, has participated in group art shows including JOYRIDE for the Bicycle Film Festival London 2010 (with fashion designer Sewwat). And collaborated with designer Benedict Radcliffe for the Paloma Faith bicycle; created for W Hotel London’s WOW BIKES, in partnership with Elton John AIDS Foundation. She was recently featured in the Webby Honouree video series Freewheelers about satorialist cyclists in London.
She painted Tokyo Lady Chatterley series on glass because, “the colours will stay vivid forever. This suits my style of painting: bright colours with bold black lines.”
SAKI moved to London to pursue her career two years ago, this is her first solo show. SAKI’s portfolio can be seen on her website SAKI & Bitches: http://sakiandb.portfoliobox.net/