The Time I Skipped Architecture Class to Study You Instead

I traced your contours when you became silhouetted
against the sunset seeping through the blinds.
It’s the chipped edges that I know so well
that I could touch you in the dark and feel my way home.

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The images are printed on 18″ x 20″ Hanji Korean Mulberry paper.

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It’s not about sex, but it is sexual. It’s an exploration of the female body’s beauty, but it’s also a kind of commentary on how the female body has become objectified by artists, so this project itself is a self-portrait of its own message.

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This project can be viewed in two perspectives:

1. In the context of romantic poetry; the admiration of and desire for the female body.

2. The incarceration of the female body within the heterosexual male’s idea of sex, and the role each gender is expected to perform.

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For this reason, I chose architecture photos to be overlaid with the anatomical images, because the art of architecture poses two questions:

1. Is it to be admired purely for its aesthetics?

2. Is its sole purpose just its functionality?

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The answer is probably somewhere in between. We admire the artistic beauty and symbolism of architectural masterpieces, and it’s also artwork that is made for practical use.

Now, ask those same questions about the female nude. Do we admire her beauty or is the female body the way it is simply because it’s designed for childbearing?

Truthfully, I was unaware of the politicization of the female body when I began this project. The stanza I opened the project with came from my own sexual and romantic experiences–it’s genuine and well-intentioned–but I gradually began to question the validity of my perspective versus the actual experiences of the women I made love to.

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