SPRING PICTURES / Gift wrapping paper

Gift wrapping paper. 5 sheets.
Size: 50 x 70 cm. 

© 2021 TYPOART. © Illustration: Gediminas Leonavičius / concept & design: Jūratė Rutkauskaitė. All rights reserved. Created and produced by TYPOART.

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Shunga, literally “spring pictures”, is an erotic artistic tradition that emerged from early modern Japan, featuring graphic images of sexual activity. Produced by the thousands during the Edo period (1600-1868), shunga offered sexuality a shameless visual platform, where sexual pleasure, female sexuality, and homosexuality were not only acknowledged but encouraged.

Why was shunga created? Shunga had functions beyond its aesthetic appeal. Its primary use would have involved viewing and sharing the paintings or books with close friends or sexual partners. The images were also used to provide sexual education for young couples, to encourage a warrior going into battle and even to protect homes. While shunga was chiefly commissioned and painted by men, it has been found among the material goods presented to a Japanese bride, suggesting that it was also highly valued by women.

What is shunga’s significance? Considering Europe at the time, where shunga would have been deemed pornographic, as well as Christianity and Islam’s denunciations of sex, shunga is an impressive, unique tradition of pre-modern erotic art. Shunga serves as testament to an uninhibited, open-minded society and offered artists with opportunities to express originality and unbridled emotion. Current estimates indicate an astounding quantity of shunga that was produced; some 2000 publications were created, each with hundreds or thousands of copies.

Shunga had a great influence on Western European artists Paul Gauguin, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Picasso. Gediminas Leonavičius’ erotic drawings are created with a moderate sense of humor.

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Type: Fine art print

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