China: Government arts association expels “vulgar” artist

sun ping china
Chinese artist and calligrapher Sun Ping has been expelled from the China Artists Association (CAA) due a performance piece deemed “vulgar” that features women painting calligraphy using brushes held inside their vaginas, reported The Independent on 16 June 2016.

The CAA said in a statement:

In recent years, Sun Ping used the name of performance art to promote ‘sexual calligraphy’ in China and overseas. The general public have looked down upon it. After investigation, his behaviour has indeed caused adverse social impact and great damage to the reputation of Chinese Artists Association.

The association further stated that the artist violated item VIII of Article IX in the member’s code, which states that the “purposeful violation of the code or cause of adverse social impact could result in loss of membership”, reported Metro on 14 June 2016.

The artist has often tackled sex in his art touching on sexual taboos, saying that his art “may seem ugly and vulgar on the outside because we’re clouded by principles and conventions”.

In early July 2016, Sun Ping wrote an open letter to Chinese media sharing his disappointment that he has been “banned from expressing” his thoughts on this issue as local media allegedly operate under the influence of the government, reported Dazed Digital on 6 July 2016.

Sun Ping had been a member of the CAA – a national and government-led association founded in 1949 currently with around 6,000 members – since 1985, and has been displaying his controversial calligraphy work since 2006.

Photo of Sun Ping’s work from Ace Gallery


» Dazed Digital – 6 July 2016:
Banned vagina artist writes open letter to Chinese media

» The Independent – 16 June 2016:
‘Vulgar’ vagina calligrapher Sun Ping banned from China Artists Association

» Metro – 16 June 2016:
Artist creates ‘beautiful, provocative’…vagina calligraphy

» Shanghaiist – 14 June 2016:
Women painting calligraphy with their vaginas too ‘vulgar’ for government group, artist expelled

More from Freemuse

» 1 December 2015: China: Authorities ban art exhibition on violence against women

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