X-rated Japanese prints to go on display at Sotheby's

A number of x-rated Japanese prints are to go on display at Sotheby's Hong Kong later this month.

Japanese erotica exhibition
Piscicolous: a traditional Katsushika Hokusai woodblock

From July 18 until July 31, sexually explicit prints from the collection of antique dealer Uragami Mitsuru will adorn the international auction house's walls, presenting art lovers with a rare opportunity "to understand more about shunga as well as the general social and cultural perception of sexuality during the Endo period," according to gallery director Angelika Li.

Shunga - a Japanese term for sexually explicit art - was predominantly created using wood block printing techniques.

In terms of subject matter, shunga created during the Endo period (1603-1868) varies enormously, reflecting the protean, and often symbolic, nature of sexual desire during the period.

Uragami Mitsuru asserts: "Internationally, Japanese shunga is regarded as erotic art of the highest order.

"The influence of Western ethics after the Meiji period meant that shunga came to be regarded, both socially and academically, as taboo."

A cultural re-evaluation has taken place throughout the West in recent years, repositioning shunga as a serious art form worthy of scholarly and aesthetic consideration.

The exhibition, which explores the (often complex) relationship between sex and society, offers attendees a chance to view works by renowned artists Suzuki Harunobo (1724-1770), Katsukawa Shunsho (1726-1792) and Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).

The exhibition is open to over 18s only.

Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we currently have a large number of fascinating art and photography collectibles in stock.

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