Misconceptions About Sex-art Artists in Singapore
If you think it’s difficult to be a full-time artist in Singapore, it’s even tougher being one whose designs often include phallic or sexual symbolisms. Many misconceptions surrounding these artists result in them not being recognized for their talents, or even being stigmatized by our society for producing such “provocative” creations.
So for this story, we spoke to local artist Marina (@mrn.a) about her experiences when she designs such artwork, as well as the key misconceptions that she faced.
Wanna find out more about the sexual symbolisms found in the exclusive designs by Marina? Check out our first article of this Q&A two-parter, where we dug deep into her depiction of snakes in the artwork and what it really represents!
#1: Sex-art artists are sleazy and kinky because of the art they create.
Marina (M): I think that our society tends to judge us based on the kind of art we make, that’s why many people have this misconception.
Previously, I tried incorporating nudity in my art - and it wasn't even that open in my opinion - but people automatically label me as a pervert or “that girl that likes to draw boobs and dicks” even though I do many different types of art. I mean, my art can be filled with flowers and pink unicorns but in reality, I might prefer the total opposite.
We’re more than just the artwork we produce, and that doesn’t only define who we are as a person.
#2: Sex-art artists are the gurus in all things sex-related.
M: Sometimes my friends will come to me for advice when they face certain sexual health issues or if they want ideas on how to improve their sex life, but I’m no doctor or sex guru! It’s also through such incidents that I realised many people don’t know where to seek help from if they have questions about their sexual health, because such information is not widely known. That’s why I think that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done so that people are more educated about such topics and I hope this campaign can bring attention to these societal issues.
It’s not that I’m encouraging sex, I’m encouraging responsible sex. I can’t help it if people want to have sex, but I can do my part to remind them to be safe if they want to do it.
#3: We are not afraid of being judged or criticised for our artwork.
M: It actually takes a lot of confidence and courage to put our creations out there and be judged publicly. Some people can get pretty riled up when it comes to topics related to sex and the depiction of sexual content, even as an art form. A few years ago, I was invited to give a talk at an event, only to have the organisers suddenly start criticising my “provocative” work in front of the audience. I also occasionally receive DMs from both acquaintances and strangers, bashing my work and calling me a “pervert”.
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