Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Bowdoin College Museum of Art Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Advanced Search
Image of Black Shunga 30072

2016.3.6

Artist

Chris Ofili

Title

Black Shunga

Creation Date

2008-2015

Century

early 21st century

Dimensions

26 1/2 x 17 5/8 in. (67.31 x 44.77 cm)

Object Type

print

Creation Place

Europe, British

Medium and Support

line etching on paper

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, Barbara Cooney Porter Fund

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

2016.3.6
Chris Ofili’s Black Shunga portfolio raises questions about perception and visual resolution on literal and metaphorical levels. Challenging our sense of the familiar, the work’s layers of deep shades of blue on a silver-hued ground evoke what the artist describes as a “moonlike glow … not dark nor light, everything is reflecting back.” As our eyes slowly adjust, frolicking figures emerge, engaged in the intimate encounters suggested by the work’s title, an allusion to erotic nineteenth-century Japanese shunga prints. Just as Ofili’s prints grow out of a fusion of cultures, so too scenes of pleasure both combine with and emerge from the work’s surface in a gradual revelation akin to the joyful dawning of creative insight or inspiration.

Recommend keywords

Help us make our collections more accessible by providing keywords to describe this artwork. The BCMA uses the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus to provide consistent keywords. Enter a keyword in the field below and you will be prompted with a list of possible matching AAT preferred terms.