Li Zhuangping, a renowned Sichuan-born painter in his 60s, sparked controversy after his oil painting collection “Oriental Goddess Mountain Spirit Series”, in which his daughter modeled nude for, was made public.
Yuan Zushe, an expert cited in a China Youth report, argues that from an ethical point of view, Li’s choice to use his daughter as a nude model is wrong as ‘it could have a negative impact on society’s sexual morality’.
On the contrary, Lin Mu, an art critic and professor at Sichuan University, spoke highly of the nonconformist painter’s artistic choices. “In artistic circles, some artists ask their wives to model for them. But asking one’s daughter to model for work is [less common]. That he challenged ethics and morality is very respectable,” Lin said.
“I’ve never looked at the matter from an ethical point of view,” Li said in an interview while defending his artistic choice. “After I got approval from my wife and daughter, we began working together.”
“When we were working on the painting, neither of us felt a bit of awkward. Actually, it was no different than when I gave her a bath in her childhood.”
Li Qin, the daughter in her 20s and the subject of the series, said that she would only be willing to pose in the nude for her father’s paintings. “I’m also a painter. Being a model for my father is a sacred thing,” she added.
Not only does Li’s wife see the whole thing as a non-troversy, she said that she’s actually envious of her daughter for being able to take part in something that so beautifully captures her youth, an opportunity she never had when she was young.
While many web users were creeped out at the idea of a young woman stripping naked and posing in front of her father, others criticized Li, saying that he’d stirred up controversy this way to draw attention to his work. Apparently it worked.
“No matter what other people think about us, we are very magnanimous,” Li told reporters.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Sina]