Monday, June 07, 2010

Nude Arts Model in Taiwan

Who thought it could be possible? A nude arts model in Taiwan, children happy to make drawings of her, and above all: fair media reporting without the sensation, the titillation, and the remarks that it could harm children.
The model in question is no stranger to the cause of non-sexual nudity in Taiwan: Juan Jen-chu is a 50-something woman who sells food at a stall in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second-largest city. In her own time, she stages performance art, an activity which got her noted before because she performed in the nude at an arts center. She also turned up in my blog earlier this year because it was she who suggested the launch of a "naturist passport" as the start of a campaign to win the legalization of naturism in the country.
Her modeling took place at a university in Kaohsiung over the weekend, but the target audience was not the campus, but a wide variety of people interested in painting and drawing. Juan stood naked next to a plaster version of her own nude self while the public drew and painted her, and media camera teams swarmed all over the place.
Some of the artists were children, and they gave, by Taiwanese standards, the most mature comments: they said they were used to seeing "granny" in the nude because they had already participated in earlier classes, and they thought nothing wrong of her nudity.
The comments and the treatment of the modeling by the media was refreshing for a country where naturism is still banned, where there is no topless bathing, and where even bikinis get attention on nationwide TV as if they're something revolutionary.
Juan's action and the public's reaction are a positive step for the recognition of non-sexual nudity and the accepting of the human body as it is, with all its flaws and shortcomings. While Juan posed as a model for this artistic event, she is no 'model' in the sense of a supermodel, she has the normal body you would expect for a Taiwanese 50-year-old shopkeeper. I'm sure we will hear from Juan Jen-chu again soon.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Modesty Taiwan

Taiwan model agency Elite was asked to supply a picture for the promotion of a new local Yahoo-related online TV show featuring its models. So what it did was gather around 11 of its models - some of them household names in Taiwan through coverage in the entertainment press - and drape them in textiles. The models were technically nude, even though not a nipple was shown.

Yet, even that was too much for the online broadcaster, who refused the use the original picture. Elite let it know it was annoyed because the whole shoot took up five hours and had been difficult to arrange in the first place. The models themselves also expressed disappointment, the Taiwanese press said. As a result, Elite recalled all the models and had them do a shoot wearing white blouses and black skirts or pants. We'll spare you that picture, but instead we'll show you the original from Elite.

Even though Taiwan does have its naturists, they're still a long way from becoming mainstream.

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