the kyoto journal asked me to submit some work for their upcoming issue on gender in japan. i know some frequent contributors to the kyoto journal, from before i moved to canada. i submitted two drawings, one of which they’re planning to use for the table of contents page. also, one of my loudsilence photos may be used to illustrate a short story. i don’t usually draw from a theme. i just draw whatever comes to mind. so it was interesting to do a drawing with a particular theme in mind: gender in japan.
in my drawing, a boy is having breasts sewn over his eyes. he’s happy about it. he is being made more feminine. usually, that means taking something away (castration). but this is an addition, not a subtraction. i think femininity, including traditional parts like motherhood, is a positive thing. men and women are both better off if they can be feminine. not instead of other things, but in addition to them.
this drawing is not going to be used for the kyoto journal magazine, so i’m finally showing it on my blog. i’d been keeping it on hold. it’s one of my favorites. since doing this drawing, i did other drawings that also ended up following some sort of gender theme. “inside of me“, “20/20” and “my secret elephant” are some of the examples. they might be used by the kyoto journal as part of an online feature.
UPDATE: you can buy a print of this drawing from my SHOP.