Ever wish you could step inside a drawing, or see a flat picture from all sides?
Hong Kong-based artist Tea’s MENinPIXEL allows viewers to do just that. The project, which began as his experimental foray into voxel art, tells a series of salacious stories. Each scene features a slightly different set of brawny, bearded men engaged in a variety of titillating acts and putting their innermost desires on display in literal 360-degree fashion. In his pixelated world, the lewd is transformed into something comical.
Most of Tea’s art features BDSM props, like whips, leather bodysuits, or suspended bondage ropes. This isn’t by chance: Tea works as a designer of adult toys, and this unusual occupation helps get his creative juices flowing. He says his limited free time is actually a boon. “Since I have so little time to work on my art, I’m training myself to set priorities. Most of my ideas are flashes of inspiration, and I jot them down and think later about which ones are worth developing. At the production stage, too, you have to make choices and refine your work.”
Tea 的作品中包含的 BDSM 的元素，比如挥动的皮鞭、全身的皮革装备，或者半空中精致的捆绑，究其原因。他笑称自己是搭乘着工作之便，因为作为一名职业设计师，他设计的并不是普通产品，而是成人用具，工作环境中也就顺理成章充满了他需要的创作素材。工作之余的闲暇不多，却也恰恰提升了Tea的作品，“个人创作时间的挤压，在训练我做舍弃，因为大部分都是一闪而过的念头，但我会记下来再考虑哪些值得深化，包括制作时也要取舍，以求精炼。”
For inspiration, Tea asks friends and acquaintances about their wildest sexual fantasies, but most of the scenes spring from his imagination. Ideas come naturally to him, a result of his profession and personal interests. “Maybe it’s the experience accumulated from years of being so into manga and theater,” he shrugs. “For really specific scenes, though, like pole dancing or tango, I have to look up the proper movements. I’m not much of a dancer.”
As a child, Tea wanted to be a comics artist, and that’s still his dream today. He was inspired by Tsukasa Hojo’s mangas in his younger years, and later by cartoonist Milo Manara and illustrator Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri. For a while, he was obsessed with drawing in a realistic style. Gradually, he realized that the streamlined forms of cartoons posed an even greater design challenge, and that’s when he really began to learn. For Tea, MENinPIXEL is still something new, an experiment that’s given him a 360-degree view of himself—images are flat, but people are multi-dimensional, and perhaps with a new perspective, we’d see a different side of ourselves.
Tea 从小就想成为一个漫画家，至今他也保留着这个梦想。北条司是他幼年的启蒙，至今对他影响最大的是 Milo Manara 和 Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri 这两位情色漫画大师，Tea也有一段仅迷恋写实风格的时期，但慢慢地他发现卡通的精简形象其实更难设计，于是开始兼收并蓄。《MENinPIXEL》对于 Tea 而言更像一次全新的尝试，也让他以 360 度的方式去了解自己。画面虽是 2D 每个人却是 3D、4D 或者 5D，也许转到另一个维度，我们都有不一样的风景。