gengoroh tagame march 7 – april 20, 2014
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