September 26, 2012

"Secret Love" at Östasiatiska Museet

Autumn is in the air here in Stockholm... a perfect time to visit some museums! I had heard some great things about "Secret Love", the new exhibition at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities (Östasiatiska museet), so I made a visit yesterday.
It is a fascinating exhibition comprised of 150 works of art by 27 contemporary Chinese artists. The theme of "Secret Love" is, as the name suggests, taboo love. Besides looking at gay and lesbian life in present day China, it also looks at gender identity and norms as well as sexuality in general. The range of artwork in the exhibition is wide... from photography to painting and visual media to paper cutting. Included are very interesting stories (including interviews) depicting how it is to come out of the closet in modern day China, especially considering that homosexuality was decriminalized in China as late as 1997 (removed from the list of mental illnesses in 2001). The artwork is bold and fresh, reflecting a society tasting new freedoms... did you know that nudity in art & photography was strictly illegal in China during Mao's reign? The exhibition really shows how sexuality unites us in the world more than it divides us.
The exhibition will run until March 31st, 2013. Entrance for adults costs 100 SEK, free for children up to 18 years of age (though be aware of the sexual content and nudity in the exhibition) and for holders of the Stockholm Card. Östasiatiska is located on the island of Skeppsholmen, just a 20-25 minute walk from the Rival Hotel... through the Old Town past the Royal Palace. Otherwise you can take either bus 43 or 55. Click here for a list of other major art exhibitions this season.

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