Born in 1964 in the South of Japan, Gengoroh Tagame grew up in Kamakura, before following his studies in the graphic art department of the Tama Art University.
Magazine’s art director during the late 80’s, he was one of the first, and only one for more than a decade, to progressively reject images of sexual representation imported from the US and to reconnect with the vernacular tradition of Shunga (literally Spring pictures), re-establishing pride and pleasure to the Japanese male body.
During the Edo period, developing time of Shunga, there was no separation between erotic image and fine art. Furthermore homoerotic relationships were accepted in a society influenced by Samurai and Zen ethos. Comparable to Greek
Socratic era, older men would teach and protect the younger ones in exchange of physical intimacy. Men would have their front head shaved, while women and adolescents would wear full hair and therefore be indistinguishable from each other. Sexual intercourse was represented fully dressed, emphasizing a corporeal ambiguity between genders.
Acclaimed porn Manga creator, Gengoroh Tagame has created a physical archetype of the hyper muscular hairy male body, which anticipated the reality of our post steroid age. Through his graphic virtuosity and precise rendering, he insists
on a state of mindlessness or enlightens emancipation acquired through heavily painful physical rituals. The violence of his narrative could be compared to bondage (Kimbaku), or how the individual restrained by a strictly codified society regains existential feelings of freedom within the multitude of its bounds, liberating body and mind of any gravitas.
This solo exhibition of original ink and acrylic on paper by Gengoroh Tagame constitutes the first exhibition in Germany and one of the most exhaustive worldwide of this eccentric oeuvre.
Geijutsu Shinsho, May 2014. Page 14. Kanai, Miki. Global news, Gengoroh Tagame
nakedbutsafe nr. 7, July 2014. Page 16 – 26. Chatzistefanou, Panagiotis. Gengoroh Tagame