Monday, 30 September 2013
The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife
I enjoyed reading about Hokusai's Ako to Ama (The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife) by Ian Buruma in the Guardian.
It's an example of Japanese erotic art, shunga, and it made a whole lot of photographic things click for me. As Buruma mentions, Araki connects his work to the erotic tradition of artists such as Hokusai. But I also think the little octopus is a bit of a voyeur, a junior mollusc taking its turn, wrapping its tentacles around whatever it can find while the big octopus rubs his suckers'at the ridge of her furry place'.
And that led me directly to Kohei Yoshiyuki's work, The Park, and put that project into the historical perspective of the active dogging male gaze in full fanciful fantasy role, which is really what the Hokusai picture is all about however much time, tradition and the erotic art culture of the Edo Period may disguise it. What is happening in the picture is not that unfamiliart, and finds a big echo in Yoshiyuki's pictures. Because in the picture below, who is the guy on the right of the picture but that same little octopus transported forward in time a couple of hundred years. Maybe?
picture by Kohei Yoshiyuki
Anyway, the writing on the background of the picture is translated below (thank you Wikipedia). And that really says it all.
LARGE OCTOPUS: My wish comes true at last, this day of days; finally I have you in my grasp! Your "bobo" is ripe and full, how wonderful! Superior to all others! To suck and suck and suck some more. After we do it masterfully, I'll guide you to the Dragon Palace of the Sea God and envelop you. "Zuu sufu sufu chyu chyu chyu tsu zuu fufufuuu..."
MAIDEN: You hateful octopus! Your sucking at the mouth of my womb makes me gasp for breath! Aah! yes... it's...there!!! With the sucker, the sucker!! Inside, squiggle, squiggle, oooh! Oooh, good, oooh good! There, there! Theeeeere! Goood! Whew! Aah! Good, good, aaaaaaaaaah! Not yet! Until now it was I that men called an octopus! An octopus! Ooh! Whew! How are you able...!? Ooh! "yoyoyooh, saa... hicha hicha gucha gucha, yuchyuu chyu guzu guzu suu suuu...."
LARGE OCTOPUS: All eight limbs to intertwine with!! How do you like it this way? Ah, look! The inside has swollen, moistened by the warm waters of lust. "Nura nura doku doku doku..."
MAIDEN: Yes, it tingles now; soon there will be no sensation at all left in my hips. Ooooooh! Boundaries and borders gone! I've vanished....!!!!!!
SMALL OCTOPUS: After daddy finishes, I too want to rub and rub my suckers at the ridge of your furry place until you disappear and then I'll suck some more. "chyu chyu.."
See the Hokusai at the British Museum
Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art
British Museum, Great Russell St, London
Starts 3 October
Until 5 January