The Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi has been arrested by Tokyo Metropolitan Police (TMP) for uploading a 3D model of her vagina, according to the Tokyo Reporter. The arrest stems specifically from an incident on March 20, when Igarashi sent a man a link providing data that, when processed by a 3D printer, could be used to produce a replica of the artist’s genitals. This, according to the TMP, qualifies as “distribution of obscene material electronically,” an allegation the artist firmly denies.
“I do not acknowledge that (the work) is an obscenity,” she told the police, Tokyo Reporter says.
Igarashi, who works under the moniker Rokudenashi-ko (which translates to “Good-for-nothing girl”), has used the 3D model of her vagina to produce a line of sculptures and functional objects, from miniature landscape dioramas and figurines to iPhone cases and a structurally sound and sea-tested kayak. These and other applications for her vagina model are documented extensively on Igarashi’s website, which boasts a Takashi Murakami-inspired wallpaper.
The artist raised about 1 million yen (nearly $10,000) through a crowd-funding campaign to build a full-fledged vagina-shaped boat.
On the campaign website, she frames her project as a feminist endeavor aimed at empowering women. “Manko, pussy, has been such a taboo in the Japanese society,” she writes. “Penis, on the other hand, has been used in illustrations and signed as a part of pop culture. But pussy has never been so cute. Pussy has been thought to be obscene because it’ been overly hidden although it is just a part of women’s body.”
Watch Megumi Igarashi’s video for her project to turn a 3D model of her vagina into an ocean-going ship:
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