Many of the critiques regarding my last blog about an erotic-themed sculpture park in Korea [Jeju Loveland (제주러브랜드) also known as Love Land], A Park Only a NymphoBrainiac Could Love, concerned the lack of diversity in the sculptures; I must take full responsibility for that.
The images I chose to represent the park in the post were of the more mainstream variety…honestly, because I wanted to provide a quick overview and wasn’t really interested in addressing the rather fascinating (cultural) differences in some of the statues…my oversight I admit. However after a bit of research, these “unique” (and heterogeneous) statues proved to be most fascinating, if not exactly appealing by Western standards.
And so, without further ado…here are some images of less “idealized” erotica, with a bit of commentary/analysis included, the obvious hetero-centricity notwithstanding, I do hope you enjoy them with a bit of a smile…
No comment necessary, unless it’s something about how abstract art may or may not reflect the desires of our erotic pscyhe.
I would most certainly NOT categorize this piece as “white” or western culture, in influence…although I would say it is…rather sensual.
When considering “ideal” body types…perhaps there is only one of the above sculptures that would fit-the-bill, and…it certainly is not the most interesting of the four!
Both humorous and I believe culturally relevant, if not…aesthetically pleasing to many. But then again…real life rarely is…which, incidentally, makes it (real life) no less pleasureful!
These statues (there is a series represented in the park) I find truly compelling as they depict a cultural phenomenon specific to Korea.
The scene above includes the:
Ajumma (아줌마) – the Korean term for a middle-aged woman, it literally refers to any married woman, but is generally used for women over 40. To both Koreans and foreigners over here, the word ajumma is embedded with stereotypical images of plump, aggressive old women with permed purple hair and baggy clothes who elbow you roughly to get a seat on the train or to push in front of you at the shops. They are at once completely irritating, yet also very endearing. They can be incredibly friendly, genuinely helpful and cook brilliantly – even if the service is gruff and hurried. Of course, as a stereotype, many older Korean women are nothing like this limited but useful definition.
Ajosshi (아저씨) – the male equivalent of the ajumma, the ajosshi is best characterised as a middle-aged businessman/office worker, often called a salaryman in Korea. The stereotypicalajosshi wears a grey or black suit with a tie – the suit is often made of a shiny polyester-like fabric and the tie may have sparkly silver bits in it. His natural environments are the office – where he works steadily but slowly all day and half the night – and the restaurant/pub, where he goes after work. The ajosshi can be grumpy, but he is often an affable bloke, especially when red-faced from drinking. He can sometimes be found face down in a pool of vomit, or else stumbling home at 6am on a Wednesday ready to work another 11 hour day. Again, not every middle-aged Korean man resembles this fellow.
(quoted from Our Man in Korea)
Drawing on the above stereotypes, these sculptures seem to ask the viewer to do what (according to a Korean friend) is culturally taboo: “Imagine your ‘auntie’ having sex.” And while I assume some may be disturbed or turned-off by these depictions…I am a bit amused. The message seems to be:
Everyone has sex…EVERYONE.
One might assume; therefore, that the artist might be poking fun at our stereotypes and our sexual hangups a bit!
While I recognize, along with a proportion of you readers, that Love Land doesn’t reflect ALL aspects of healthy realistic human sexual activity…I still think it goes a long way towards opening perspectives around erotica and the representation of sex in art…if nothing else it is a reflection of a culture…and all the sexual hangups (both past and present; intrinsic and adopted) that go along with that society.
I stand behind the belief that sex, the way in which we have it, think about it, and recreate it…is forever fascinating and instructive.