Having lived in NYC for 30 years, it’s easy to be all jaded and imagine that I’ve seen just about everything. But writing this blog always affords me an opportunity to discover something interesting and fun. Getting to know the works of Japanese artists like Takashi Murakami and Mr. introduced me to Manga, a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, but I wasn’t really hip to something called Hentai, which is, essentlally, Manga porn, until I was invited to a pretty fun party sponsored by Nutaku Dot Net. Nutaku is the world’s largest English gaming platform dedicated to 18+ titles — and Hentai games are their thing. I like to tell myself: It’s not about what you don’t know; it’s about what you don’t know that you don’t know. And I’m always ‘game’ for an enlightening experience!
There is most definitely a taboo surrounding adult gaming and Hentai (Instagram will not even allow users to tag a post with the word, ask me how I know). It sheds light on the ways in which the topics of sex and eroticism still make Americans uncomfortable. But sex and sexuality undoubtedly hold a place in art, because we see it every time we visit a museum. I think it’s time for everyone to loosen up, and so does Nutaku, so the company put together a two-day pop up exhibit/experience called Hentai is Art, which took place on June 29th and 30th, 2018 in the burgeoning neighborhood where Chinatown meets Tribeca. Hentai is Art was all about presenting Hentai-influenced art and gaming as something that’s fun and imaginative which should be encouraged, explored and embraced rather than shied away from.
At the Hentai is Art pop up event, visitors were able to immerse themselves in the world of Hentai art with a range of styles and mediums to get turned on to. The ways in which Hentai is breaking into the mainstream — and helping to break down barriers — were showcased throughout the exhibit with virtual reality experiences, historically-inspired Hentai works, graffiti art, and a unique “toy” showcase. Please enjoy my photos from the press party on the eve of the exhibit’s opening to the public!
On one side of gallery space, there was a terrific display of images by talented digital artists who have reinterpreted a selection famous masterpieces in the Hentai style.
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