Modern Shunga, 2013

Sunday pillow.

Sunday pillow.

I was commissioned to create a wedding gift for a couple who were well established in their lives; a wedding book seemed like a good idea, but I disliked the over-the-top tomes that primarily emphasized the happiness of the bride. 

Shunga is the term for Japanese erotica. Often constructed in pillow book form, it was presented to new brides as an instruction manual. I found this to be a humorous solution. Stoked by a xeroxed copy of 400 sex positions for $1.00 bought from a street vendor, it became my reference for an adaptation of the Japanese classic. 

The book is made of seven pillows, one for each day of the week. One side shows a sex position; the reverse side shares a quote by a noted source in regards to an aspect of marriage tied to the image. The seventh day is allotted for a (well needed) rest.  

I used materials perceived as masculine and feminine for the cover, to honor both bride and groom. Mixed media techniques were applied, including hand and machine sewing, dyeing, appliqué, painting, embroidery, photo transfer, quilting and an email transformed into fabric paper. The inside contains a dedication to the authors of the quotes and a place for the cards of well-wishers.