While Taiwan has established itself to be far more progressive than its Asian counterparts in recent years, sexuality still isn’t a topic that’s openly discussed. But for Taipei-based illustrator Pigo Lin, this is perfectly fine because he doesn’t only want to talk about his sexual desires – he much prefers showing you. From naughty cat ladies to an erupting volcanic vagina, Lin’s innuendo-filled illustrations are manifestations of some his deepest fantasies.
Prior to his breakthrough as an erotic artist, Lin’s work veered on the complete opposite side of the spectrum – he was a children’s book illustrator. But realizing that this path wasn’t for him, he switched jobs and became a watchmaker. After entering this new job, he began drawing erotica. “When I was 12 years old and in middle school, I already had a strong sense of curiosity towards sexuality and tons of fantasies,” Lin openly shares. “I read porno magazines and played hentai games. I already enjoyed drawing at the time, but I just didn’t draw this type of stuff. Not sure why.” Lin’s first-ever work of erotica was Surf Rescue, an illustration where a half-man, half-shark lifeguard gropes a curvy, bikini-clad female who appears to be thoroughly enjoying the “rescue.”
“The term ‘perverted’ represents a deviation from the expectation from the norm,” says Lin. “The definition of what’s normal and what isn’t is changes from country to country. Cultural history plays a part in dictating this. To me, ‘perversion’ is all relative. For some people, my work is wildly depraved and vulgar. But for others, I’m not even coming close to anything they might consider to be perverted.”
Like many other contemporary Asian illustrators, Japanese art played a hand in shaping Lin’s style. Japanese erotica illustrators like Toshi Saeki and Suehiro Maruo were major influences for him, but the Taiwanese artist’s illustrations are considerably more tame. Forgoing the graphic violence and horror elements commonly seen in Saeki and Maruo’s erotic works, Lin’s illustrations instead incorporate humor, references to pop culture, and much bolder colors. In this regard, despite the controversial nature of his drawings, they’re much more approachable for a broader audience. But of course, the influence of Japanese culture extends beyond artists alone – Japanese porn stars are also a tremendous source of inspiration for Lin. “I would say it’s 80% Japanese porn and 20% Western porn,” Lin says of his viewing habits. “For me, porn is both nourishment and inspiration. And as for who I consider to be my favorites, my top five performers, in no particular order, are Shiraishi Marina, Aoi Sora, Uehara, Kawashima Azumi, and Yoshizawa Akiho.”
像许多其他当代亚洲插画家一样，皮哥也深受日本艺术文化的启发。Suehiro Maruo（丸尾末広）和Toshi Saeki（佐伯俊男）这类日本色情插画师对他影响较大，但是皮哥的插图风格更为温和。他没有延续Saeki和Maruo作品中常见的暴力和恐怖元素，而是在自己的插图中融入了幽默的元素和流行文化，并采用了更为丰富的色彩。因而，尽管他的插画依然引人争议，但可以被更广泛的读者接受。当然，在日本文化中，除了这些艺术家，日本色情明星也是皮哥的灵感来源。皮哥说他的色情片观看比例“大概80 %是日本色情片，20 %是欧美色情片。对我来说，色情片是食粮也是灵感。不计名次，我最喜欢的前5名色情明星是Shiraishi Marina（白石茉莉奈）、Aoi Sora（苍井空）、Uehara Ai（上原亚衣）、Kawashima Azumi（川岛和津实）、Yoshizawa Akiho（吉泽明步）。”
Lin’s images serve as a reminder that sex isn’t necessarily a dirty thing. “There’s still a lot of tension around sex,” Lin comments. “You can enjoy it, but you can’t talk about it. There’s a line you aren’t supposed to cross.” While some might simply see Lin as a man obsessed with sex, his mission is actually rather noble; with each illustration, Lin is untangling the threads of taboo around sex and eliminating the sense of shame that many people associate with what is arguably one of the greatest pleasures in life.