It can take a lot of bravery to express your innermost desires publicly, but when you present them with pastel colors, sharp linework, and characters that fit like puzzle pieces, it makes things a lot easier. Darling Kink is an erotic illustrator from the Philippines who channels her private feelings into work meant to force open the discussion of sexuality in her country.
“The Philippines is very repressed, very conservative,” she says in one of Manila’s many malls. Her neon colored windbreaker matches her nails. “Like many others, my family is very religious, so it’s taboo to talk about these type of things.”
向他人坦露内心的欲望，往往需要很大的勇气。但是当你以柔和的色彩、清晰的线描以及拼图式的人物来表达这些欲望，好像又变得容易一些。Darling Kink 是菲律宾的一名情色插画家，她将自己私密的情感融入作品中，意图推进这个国家对性的公开讨论。
“菲律宾人是非常压抑、非常保守的。” Darling Kink 在马尼拉的一个商场里如此说道，她正身着霓虹色的风衣，衬出她的美甲色。“和很多菲律宾人一样，我的家人也是很虔诚的教徒，所以他们很忌讳谈论这些东西。”
Darling Kink’s family always supported her goal of becoming an artist, and when she enrolled to study visual communication in college, she found that the new surroundings also encouraged her to express herself. She took all those cues and found her way further by drawing her intimate fantasies in private. “I wanted to open this type of discussion, because it’s not available to many women in the Philippines. I wanted to create a space for the discussion of simple things like sexual and romantic relations. But I didn’t set out with an agenda, it just kind of happened.”
While she had trouble finding an audience for her early works on paper, Instagram provided a new outlet, one that seemed tailor-made for her new outlook: “My ability to express desires and fantasies is a luxury, because not a lot of women or those in the LGBTQ community can do that here. I don’t want them to feel guilty about their sexuality. People are seeking support groups to feel normal, and I think my account creates a space for that.” Then, with a sly smile and a mischievous gleam in her eye, she adds, “I want to fight the patriarchy.”
一直以来，Darling Kink 的家人都很支持她成为艺术家。她大学在修读视觉传达专业时，发现这种新的环境令她更想要表达自己。慢慢地，她开始在私下用画笔画出自己内心的性幻想。“我想要开始这种有关性的讨论，因为在菲律宾很多女性都没有办法讨论这个话题。我想为她们创造一些空间，去谈论性和爱这类简单的话题。但我并没有特意做什么计划，只是自然而然开始做这件事。”
对于她早期纸上创作的作品，要找到观众并不容易；这时候，Instagram 提供了一个全新的创意出口，一个似乎为她量身订做的新出路：“我很幸运，可以自由地表达欲望和性幻想，因为在这里，很多女性和 LGBTQ 群体都无法做到这一点。我不希望他们要因为自己的性取向而感到羞愧。许多人会去找支持小组，让自己感觉像个正常人。我想，我的 Instagram 也算是创造了这样一个空间吧。”说完，她露出了狡黠的笑容，眼睛闪着调皮的光芒，她说：“我要对抗这个父权社会。”
Around the time we spoke, President Rodrigo Duterte was in the news for saying that as a teenager he molested his maid while she slept, a story he later claimed to have made up for dramatic purposes. It was just the latest controversy about women’s rights to entangle the president, who’s been known to make jokes about rape.
As if to emphasize her point about the country being very traditional and religious, many busy streets that are usually choked with traffic were flooded the day we met by over a million devotees participating in a Catholic procession called The Feast of the Black Nazarene. More than 80 percent of the country identifies as Catholic, which translates to some very conservative statistics relating to sexuality.
It’s the only country in the world, aside from Vatican City, where divorce is illegal. Abortion is strictly prohibited, even in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life. A plan to provide contraception to the poor has been a battle for decades. HIV is spreading at the highest rate in the Asia-Pacific region. And while some consider the Philippines to be the most LGTBQ-tolerant country in Asia, violence, and discrimination are still serious problems.
Darling Kink believes artists have a duty to address issues that others can’t. “The art scene here is very open, but it’s a very privileged circle. It’s mainly an upper-middle-class community. Everyone I know in the art world comes from backgrounds that allow them to explore,” she says, including herself within those ranks. “We’re offered a luxury that not many people have. So we have a responsibility to open these type of discussions for those who can’t.”
This activist streak of hers isn’t limited to sexuality; she also creates work addressing many other issues but doesn’t post it to her main feed. She was even involved in street protests when Duterte was first elected and experienced a backlash for it on social media: “I was active in protesting against him in the beginning, but I just got tired of everything. The political landscape here is so draining. A lot of people in my Facebook network were supporters, so I ended up deleting that account. I had 4,000 followers, but getting rid of it kept me and my family safe, which was more important than people having access to my art.”
Darling Kink 认为艺术家有责任来解决这些别人未能解决的问题。“这里的艺术圈非常开放，但在这个圈子里的通常都来自中上层阶级，他们的家庭背景让他们有能力去自由探索。”她说道，“我们算很幸运的了，不是很多人有这种运气。因此，我们有责任去为社会上的更多人去推动这些讨论。”
她关心的并不限于性相关的话题；她的作品也会关注其他问题，只是没有被她重点展示出来。在杜特尔特首次当选时，她甚至参与了当时的街头抗议活动，也因此受到了一些报复。“我一开始也很积极地进行各种抗议他的活动，但后来我逐渐厌倦了这一切。这个国家的政治环境实在让人感到太无力了。在我的 Facebook 朋友中，很多人都是他的支持者，所以我最终注销了这个帐户。我在上面有 4000 名粉丝，但注销这个帐号能保证我和家人的安全，这一点对我来说，比让人们看到我的作品更重要。”
Now she’s wrestling with how to expand her impact through her art and is starting to bump up against the limits of her erotic brand: “There are other issues beyond sexuality that need fighting for. We’re still struggling with basic concerns like health care and labor rights. Am I really doing anything to address the most serious issues in the Philippines?” It’s a question that people who truly care often ask themselves, and one that offers a hint to what might be next.