Chinese Artist Shunned For Putting Calligraphy Pens in a Vagina
A vagina can do a lot of things in the art world, but writing beautiful calligraphy is apparently not one of them. At least, that’s the ruling in China after Sun Ping, a 63-year-old artist from Heilongjiang, China, had his membership in the China Artists Association (CAA) revoked for a “vulgar” art project called Vagina Calligraphy, which (as you might’ve guessed) involved calligraphy pens, vaginas, and apparent debauchery. The artist has been a member of the CAA since 1985 and had been experimenting with vaginal calligraphy art since his “Unknown Tao” project in 2006, but that didn’t matter in the eyes of the Chinese government once his work started getting international recognition.
According to a statement on their website, not only was Ping’s art “vulgar,” “low class,” and “uncivilized,” but it also “ruined calligraphy at will and trampled on civilization.” Apparently in China it’s totally okay to torture anti-government activists and discriminate against religious minorities, but stick a calligraphy pen in a vagina and you’re automatically trampling on Chinese civility.
In the aftermath of being kicked out and shamed for his work, Ping shared an open letter with Dazed that called out the “untruthfulness and misdirection” of the CAA and gave the shadiest response possible to being kicked out of the organization. “I felt honoured to have a governmental organisation remembering me, but ever since I began to do contemporary art in the late 80s, I never had anything to do with them, the membership was just like a dead body, and I would like to thank them for kicking me out.”
This isn’t the first time the Chinese government has attempted to control artists in the country. Besides regularly trying to stifle Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei through wire-tapping and even taking away his passport, they’ve also been known to censor and arrest artists who criticize the government. The joke’s on them, though, because Ping isn’t letting the controversy detract from his artistic vision.
“My art may seem ugly and vulgar on the outside because we’re clouded by principles and conventions, but there is also elegance, beauty and inner value,” Ping told Metro. “If art is revered then why can’t sex be as well? A vagina is too often labelled as vulgar but it is where we all come from.”
Stay tuned to Milk for more controversial vagina art.
Images via Sun Ping.