The Art of Censorship

During the 1960s and 1970s, Thailand was a thoroughly conservative place. In the West, sexual liberation had prompted a reexamination of values and views on sexual orientation, premarital sex, birth control, abortion, and expressions of desire, gradually freeing people from the fetters of antiquated thinking. But that wave of open-mindedness didn’t make its way east until later, and in Thailand any hint of sexuality was still viewed as dirty, obscene, and immoral.

At the time, a censorship law banned nudity—which after all tends to make people think of sex—in all public media, whether in print, on television, in film, or in art. Parts of this law remain in place today, and nude images in Thailand are still subject to strict controls.

六、七零年代的泰国,是一个极端保守的地方。尽管当时风靡西方的性解放运动(上世纪 60 年代从美国发起的社会运动,针对性欲的表达、性向、婚前性行为、避孕行为、堕胎……种种性价值观进行重新检讨)正把人民一步一步从守旧的思想地狱解救出来,在这波开明的理念东传之前,泰国依然处在一个任何有关性爱的联想,都被看作肮脏、淫秽、伤风败俗的年代。


That’s not to say there was no private demand for such images in the 1960s and 1970s. The popular erotic magazine Siam’s Guy is emblematic of the times. Like any erotic magazine worthy of the name, it contained all kinds of titillating photos, but given the government censorship, it couldn’t publish images with full nudity. Far from giving in, the editors took censorship as an opportunity to test their creativity: they let their imaginations run wild, playfully covering nipples and private parts in flowers, butterflies, blooming geometric forms, and other indistinct shapes. The images, which almost never appear twice, practically upstage the women themselves, becoming the magazine’s most conspicuous feature.

但是人们私底下寻欢作乐的时候不是没有这个需求——比如红极一时的情色杂志《Siam’s Guy》,它可是当年标志性的刊物。作为一本堂堂正正的情色杂志,里面可见各种性感的裸体照。但由于受到政府审查的限制,裸体照又不能大方的直接刊登。

可杂志编辑并没有因此打退堂鼓,反而心想“这是一个发挥创意的好机会”。于是他们异想天开,玩了起来,画出各种几乎不会重复的简笔画,比如绽放的几何形状、花和蝴蝶,或是你认不出来的有趣图形,覆盖在乳头和生殖器官上。这些图案抢尽了裸体女郎的风采,甚至成为杂志中最抢眼的部分 。

Tiane Doan Na Champassak, a French photographer who collects old photographs and magazines, stumbled across early issues of Siam’s Guy at a Bangkok flea market. The find set him on a journey to collect Thailand’s pornographic magazines, some five hundred of which now sit piled on his bookshelves. Eventually, he realized he had an encyclopedic collection of erotic censorship, so he scanned all the images and published them as a book titled Censored. “I was first drawn to the very sophisticated design,” he says. “In the 1970s many different erotic magazines were released, but none came close to the originality and quality of Siam’s Guy.”

有一位喜欢收藏各种老照片和旧杂志的摄影师的法国摄影师 Tiane Doan Na Champassak,一次偶然在曼谷的跳蚤市场上发现了早期的《Siam’s Guy》,从此开启了一段搜集早期泰国色情杂志的漫长旅程。在他的书柜里,堆叠了超过五百本这样的色情杂志。直到后来他意识到自己对于“情色审查”这个主题,已经拥有如百科全书一般的影像资料库。

于是,他把这些幽默的图像全都扫描整理成册,成为了共有六册的图集《Censored》(《被审查》)。Tiane Doan 说:“我想我最受这些杂志吸引的地方是它精致的设计。即使后来有更多色情杂志出现在市面上,但无论是质量上、原创性或创意上,都比不上早期像《Siam’s Guy》这样的杂志。”

Censored contains over four thousand of these photographs. “I find it amazing that all models posed completely naked in front of the camera later to be ‘covered’ so creatively,” says Champassak. “In some photos, it’s clear it would have been easier for them to pose in bikinis.” That way they could have complied with the censorship rules, and the results would have been more or less the same. But that’s exactly what they didn’t want to do—they wanted to be playful.

在《Censored》里,总共收录了四千张以上这样子的照片。有趣的是,这些裸身女子在镜头前摆出撩人的姿势,之后又必须想尽办法“遮盖”起来。 “杂志编辑不是有更轻松的方法吗?比如让模特儿穿上比基尼,或是避开特写的镜头——可以符合审查的规范,效果其实也差不多。但他们偏偏不要,他们就是要这样玩。”

Today, nearly half a century after the height of erotic censorship, nudity still hasn’t shed its negative associations: it’s often labeled pornographic, brazen, or even depraved, a view Champassak rejects as unnatural, unnecessary overinterpretation. “As for comparing the past and the present, not much has changed. Hypocrisy is still high,” he says. “Our societies are becoming more and more prude, and at the same time tolerating violence as if it were natural. What is natural is the body we were born with.”

Censored is now available for purchase on RVB Books.

时至今日,即使距离情色审查的年代已经过了近半世纪之久,裸露这个概念的负面形象尚未褪去,它依然容易被贴上腥膻色情、大胆、甚至荒淫的标签。这些看在 Tiane 的眼里,全部都是不自然、而且不必要的过度解释。 “我认为即使过了这么久,事情依然没有改善。社会上伪善的人还是很多,他们嚷嚷着裸体多么破坏风气,却对传播着更多暴力的东西视而不见。裸体不应该被当作禁忌,它不就是人的身体而已吗?”

《Censored》现已于RVB Books发售


Contributor: Yi Xuan



供稿人: Yi Xuan