When I asked Taiwanese illustrator Phoebe Chen why so much of her art is about sex, she paused and thought for a moment, then shrugged. “Sometimes you just can’t explain why you’re drawn to something.”
The women in Chen’s drawings have all kinds of appearances and personalities: some are flirtatious, others are headstrong. Some are restless, while others give themselves over to pleasure. Yet they all accept themselves—and they especially embrace the feelings and desires that are often left unspoken.
当我问到台湾插画家 Phoebe Chen，为何选择将“性”作为自己的创作主题时，她思索了一会儿，回答“有时候你就是没办法说明自己为什么会受某些事物吸引。”
“As a woman, and as an artist whose work is about desire, sometimes I get people looking at my art and thinking I’m ‘easy’ or ‘loose,'” says Chen. “It’s frustrating. A lot of people in our society still think that any woman who’s in control of her sexuality is a slut.”
On paper she lets her desire run free and unbridled. These sexually suggestive—not to say explicit—illustrations are an outlet for Chen’s imagination, a way for her to strike back at society. After all, it’s a society that enforces silence around sex and desire.
“The women in my drawings are rebellious-looking, like they don’t care what others think, but that’s actually the opposite of what I’m like,” she says. “I think that in today’s society, there’s hardly anyone who hasn’t wanted to escape from their own life at some point. Luckily I can draw, and through my art I can fully express the things I love and the way I want to be. Maybe I just like naked bodies and the aesthetics of desire. What’s wrong with that?”
她任由欲望在纸上世界悠游，放肆嬉戏，这些带点性暗示的插画，只是 Phoebe 想像力的一个出口，同时也是一种回击社会的方法，毕竟这个社会对于性和欲的讨论，总是维系着一种“保持缄默”的微妙约定。“虽然我画里的女性看来叛逆，总是一副不在乎别人看法、事不关己的样子，但这样的角色个性与我个人正好完全相反。我认为在现今的社会里，没有人不曾想过逃离自己。我很幸运地拥有绘画的能力，能通过创作充分表达我喜爱的事物和我想成为的模样。也许我就是喜欢裸体，和这些关于情欲的美学，这又有什么不好吗？”