Singapore News

News from Singapore

Artists pushing boundaries between art and porn

Posted by jtsmyth8 on April 2, 2008

Egyptian artist Ghada Amer says her work is inspired by erotica, pornography and the empowerment of women.

Amer and Iranian-born artist Reza Farkhondeh collaborate on delicately colored but unsettling works. She takes blown-up images from porn magazines, then he paints or prints birds, flowers, and pale washes on top, obscuring the underlying forms. The final layer is embroidered by Amer.

But as artists-in-residence at Singapore’s leading print institute, Amer and Farkhondeh wonder whether their works — juxtaposing oral sex and floral patterns, or a quote from the Koran framed by images of Wonder Woman — will ever be seen here because of government restrictions.

Singapore bans pornography and has an ambivalent attitude to nudity. The government wants to encourage the arts so that Singapore can compete with cultural centers such as London and New York, but only last month stopped a commercial gallery from showing a painting of a female nude in a public space. (link)

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