Sex Brain Melody
When it comes to sex in our city, the most recent public memory has been so played out that our mental blocks are on automatic every time it comes up. That’s right; I’m talking about Edison Chen and his ever so naughty photo scandal. However, what was bad for Edison – and Gillian Cheung – was good for us, baring (pun intended) as it did the average Hongkonger’s attitude towards sex. “It burst a bubble of secrecy and up-tightness,” suggests Katrien Jacobs, assistant professor at City University, and an artist in the field of new media and sexuality.
Originating from Belgium, Jacobs was fascinated by the scandal, and the way it forced this city to reveal its own comfort zones when it came to sex and sexual images in the public eye. Fortuitously, the Chen scandal coincided with a project she had been working on, documenting the progress of sex and erotica in Hong Kong through film.
“It is often mentioned in local newspapers that Hong Kong performs badly in the bedroom. Is it true that this hyper-wired Asian megalopolis has lost its sex drive?” asks Jacobs. Thankfully, it seems that not everyone has. The first two films of her new series focus on internet porn and Japanese doll culture, exposing some of the city’s secret sex fanatics.
In What’s Wrong with your Porn, Hong Kong? she documents how the local porn industry went from low budget 70s kitsch films from the Shaw brothers (many recently rereleased on DVD) to DIY projects that have become internet cult classics, such as Special Sperm Task Force. Audiences have gone from watching porn in theatres to staring at their computers, putting erotic art and its corresponding community firmly behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, The Japanese Doll Complex explores the influence of Japanese manga on the Hong Kong sex scene. Jacobs documents the recent emergence of extremely beautiful ornate dolls that play host to their owner’s emotional and sexual desires, which has spawned a sub-culture of erotic doll photography and costume play.
Whatever your feelings, it’s sure to be a hot night of thoughtful fun. Bring a date or some friends; there will be plenty to talk about after the screenings. Bourree Lam
Shanghai Street Artspace, G/F, 404 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, 9343 2026, http://www.hkadc.org.hk/en. Tue 24, 7.30pm-9pm, free.