My own brush with censorship and at Art School in New York no less!

Posted in Art School by Adele Todd on August 24, 2007

In the early 90’s when I was at Pratt in New York, finishing my degree in Graphic Design, I did a series of drawings in pen and ink of a Japanese couple. I did it for a typography assignment dealing with continuity. We were asked to create twelve images that would read like a story. I have always loved Asian Art, and I decided to try my hand at what the Japanese call Chunga. Chunga is their erotic woodblock drawings.
I did not use woodblock however, but three types of traditional Japanese papers. Two had a continuous pattern in the paper pulp and formed leaves and flowers.
I then bound the pages together from right to left as the Japanese traditionally view books.

Japanise drawings, 1991

The drawings were very well received. So much so that I was approached by the committee who produce the school’s comic book. After a few weeks, one of the members came back to me, she happened to be Asian. She was very upset that the work was rejected. She told me that they fought over what to do and it was pretty heated. Somehow my work had gotten censored. The solution was to crop certain suggestive portions of the artwork. She said that in conscience she could not abide by such a decision. The work would either have to be seen whole or not at all. I agreed with her.
So, coming soon in Sexy Pink is the actual layout of my Japanese book, Guide me In.


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