Japanese sculptor artist Megumi Igarashi or sometimes known as her pseudonym ‘Rokudenashiko’ which means “good-for-nothing girl” was arrested last week for sending 3D printer data of her scanned vagina. Sounds a bit graphic, sure but this isn’t the first time Igarashi has made controversial work. She’s known to be an outspoken critic of the censorship of female genitalia in Japanese society.
After successfully crowdfunding $10,000 to build a kayak with a top shaped like her vagina, she sent the 3D printer data image of her vagina (that the kayak was modelled on) to her fans as a thank you to them. That night 10 police officers arrived at her house and she was arrested for “disturbing indecent material”, facing up to two years in prison and a fine of us to $25,000.
“I did not expect to get arrested at all. Even as they were confiscating my works, I thought to myself, ‘This will be a good story.’ Then they handcuffed and arrested me. Now, I just feel outraged.”
This sparks again a deep and ongoing battle about women’s rights and particularly the freedom of artistic expression. If you’re as outraged as Igarashi, you can join her other 17,000 supporters who have signed a petition at Change.org for her immediate release.
Igarashi plans to fight the charges and also already plans to write about her experience in prison. It’ll be an interesting fight and a tough one at that.