Shunga Yobai

Duration : 12:00 - 20:00 (Closed on Mondays)

Opening : 2020.7.25(Sat)- 2020.9.6(Sun)

Venue : Room 108, No. 3, Lane 1363, Middle Fuxing Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai

Tel : +86 (0)21 5496 1918

Web :

Artist :
柴 一茗 CHAI Yiming
裴 晶 PEI Jing
余 启平 YU Qiping
内田 江美 Emi UCHIDA
佐藤 令奈 Haruna SATO

Yobai: Erotica at the Ukiyo-e era in Japan

“The Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu is one of the classical Japanese novels, as the equivalent of “Dream of the Red Chamber”, in the book the character Hikaru Genji was alike to Jia Baoyu from the “Red Chamber”. Many episodes appear in the novel as “Yobai: Crawling at night” which refers to a man sneaking into the chamber of a woman that he attracted to in the middle of the night for coitus, and leave quietly before the dawn. This was a custom in Japan abolished until modern times. Minorities in China seem to have a similar custom but it only has happened at the maternal clan tribes.

Philosophers through ages pondering art or lust would eventually bring up the functionalism – an ultimate form of play. From the verbal game to the physical collision, people extend their lives through a cognitive excitement and imagination, longing for surreal pleasures, which separated from the functional reality of “breeding”. In the book of “The Explanation of Dreams”, Freud’s description of functionalism and the discussing of “perversion of goals” and “perversion of purpose”; Behaviors goes beyond normal which bordering on the “pathological” or “perverted” were characterized vividly at Bataille’s novel “Le bleu du Ciel”. His appraising and inheritance of Freud’s works is an important part of the histories of philosophy and art. The influence of thoughts incarnates into a theoretical life.

By the starting of the 2020 summer season, more than 12 million people worldwide had infected the COVID-19 and the death toll exceeded half of a million. Is this tragedy coming by accident or has it been lurking for a while? At this time almost everyone is concerned about social distance. Primary infections, mass infections, one word about epidemic after another are warning people to not contacting with one and another. However, as for humans’ history began at a collective living style, the virus keeps the constant collective contagion over and over again. Interestingly, at the current a large percentage of the collective contagion around the world came from clubbing or drinking. The social movement of BLM induced the pondering of racism retroactively and reflectively, it may create some positive effects on the nowadays human society. The maintenance of social distance leads to human intimacy facing an unprecedented level of forbiddenness. But the taboo is precisely what human beings were most interested in exploring since the beginning of time.

In this particular period, we curate a group exhibition including five Chinese and Japanese artists. The theme of the exhibition, Shunga Yobai, has always been an interest of us. We also hope to tour the exhibitions both in Japan and Korea after the Shanghai station.

Shun, wrote at Tokyo Studio in a wild windy weather
Midsummer 2020