Please note this artists work contains sexually explicit imagery.
Aiko Robinson is a Christchurch born artist of New Zealand and Japanese decent. She is currently undertaking her Masters at Tokyo University of the Arts fully funded by the MEXT scholarship.
Aiko’s work is inspired by Japanese Shunga Prints, which are a form of pornography, or erotica, that flourished in the 17th and 19th centuries in Japan. Shunga, which literally translates to “Spring Pictures”, reflects the acceptance or celebration of sex in Shinto culture, and values love, mutual pleasure and equality between sexual partners. Shunga is also positively associated with spring as it addresses themes of fertility and new life. Aiko is particularly interested in the concept of ‘Warai-e’, another common name for Shunga, literally meaning “Laughing pictures”. Herworks frequently deal with humour, typically in the form of sexual euphemisms and puns.
Aiko’s current series feature couples making love in trees comes from the possibly more immature version of the childish rhyme “____ and ____ up a tree F.U.C.K.I.N.G”. Due to the lack of privacy in traditional Japanese architecture and in the tradition of leaving the family home only when married, Aiko has depicted couples seeking privacy up trees. Ironically this heightens the thrill of falling out of trees or being caught in public. Aiko has also played on the word “Ecchi” which means sex in Japanese and “Etching” the printmaking process in her current works. The humour is intended as a way to make my work and the subject of sex and it’s representation in art and media more approachable.
Exhibitions include the International student printmaking exhibition, exhibited in 14 galleries worldwide, including the Gus Fisher gallery in Auckland. She was selected as a finalist for both the Henrietta and Lola Anne Tunbridge Scholarship for watercolour painting 2014, and the Waikato Society of Arts Painting and Printmaking award 2015.