Aiko Robinson interview
More Than Reproduction interview Aiko Robinson about her printmaking practice for their July profile feature.
The Japanese art of Shunga is an ongoing source of creative and cultural inspiration for you, and is traditionally associated with woodblock printing and painting. In this context, what has drawn you to expand its application to lithography and copper-plate etching?
Japanese Shunga and Ukiyoe are often accompanied by text which is artfully placed within the composition. The text is often the dialogue exchanged between the figures in the scenes. In these texts we often come across examples of 「言葉遊び」(kotobaasobi), “a play on words”, or puns, which add to the joy and humour of the scene. A common word for sex in Japanese is “Ecchi”, which sounds very similar to the word Etching, or “Ecchingu” in Japanese. So naturally I had to create a series of copper plate etchings titled “Ecchi Etching”. I also incorporated copperplate etching into my art practice because historically in the West many erotic artworks were made in this medium. Of course “Want to come up and see my etchings?” is one of the oldest and most cliched pick up lines in Western history.
As regards to Lithography, I was excited by the potential to create works with a more painterly quality, which is quite difficult to achieve in woodblock or etching. It allowed for a stylistic change which has given my work a lighter quality.