Contemporary art in China: Exploring China's Flourishing Art Scene

About Pink Bed by Shen Ling, Chinese artist

Sex life in China – The constant rush of modern life is the archenemy of one’s sex life. The meaning of sex has been reduced to something of a fast food meal, eaten for the purpose of filling one’s stomach.

By Shen Ling, Chinese contemporary artist

This kind of sex, this release of libido, is never soul-touching, like two clumps of frozen meat piled on top of each other, neither overwhelming nor heartbreaking, neither heavenly nor hell-raising. It gives you a feeling of hollowness inside, extremely insensitive, yet you are left with no choice.

Milan Kundera once said,” What is flirtation? One might say that it is behavior leading another to believe that sexual intimacy is possible while preventing that possibility from becoming a certainty.” Today, flirtation has become quite a luxury.

I always believe that women are sentimental creatures who always play the role of a tragic heroine. Even a woman who is capricious cannot afford the emotional consequences of a one night stand, though she might have been looking for men for fun. She would never expect to lose in the end, simply because she is a woman. Her tenderness cannot be mistaken for weakness, but even the most promiscuous woman could fall in love. In her own way, tenaciously, silently, and madly she loves, tires, escapes, cries, sulks, and becomes enthusiastic, longing, and flared up. She’d rather be hurt and taunted, only to be able to love the one she wants.

Today, sex is prevalent in every part of society. It seems as though life would be monotonous without it. Nowadays, sexual jokes at dinnertime can replace meat dishes. Cellular phones never cease to display text messages with sexual innuendos, and porn sites can be found everywhere if you go on-line. I am extremely annoyed and tired of it all, but I seem to be out under its spell. Every time I open my mouth to begin a conversation, it is always sexual. Every time I begin to paint, naked bodies always appear on the canvas. If you could open up my brain and look inside, half of it would be filled with sex. Every time I think about sex, I become steamed with desire and satisfaction. I just cannot stop thinking about it.

Making love is my most favorite thing in the world. It’s so wonderful, so breathtaking. There is nothing more beautiful than two lubricious naked bodies and two trembling hearts becoming one with another.

I recall once, reading this excerpt from a book: “Love is a non-replaceable experience and is life’s most basic form of happiness. We rush our lives every day without direction. We busy ourselves every day but never achieve anything. Only love enables us to constantly feel alive, without insensitivity. Love is such a splendid thing, filling the air like magical dust. It makes me crazy, intoxicated and withered. Just like the popular music that permeates the air: love just to love, love is too difficult, and love is simple. I enjoyed the simplicity and happiness of love and cannot help expressing the supreme and incomparable joy of sex. I hope you will be able to feel when you approach my paintings.

Shen Ling, 2003.08

Originally published on 15/03/2009

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