Sichuan artist courts controversy by painting nudes of daughter

By Ryan Kilpatrick, January 15, 2015

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61-year-old Li Zhuangping, a painter from Sichuan province, has sparked nationwide debate after using his 23-year-old daughter Li Quan as a nude model in his latest series of paintings.

Ethicist Yuan Zudu publicly condemned the series as "improper behavior," while other writers have accused it of "clearly exceeding the bottom line of morality," "hijacking art,""offending public morals" and bordering on the "incestuous." One online commenter said that "as soon as I think of a daughter stripping naked in front of her father I feel uneasy."

Dean of Sichuan Normal University's fine arts school Lin Mu disagrees, however, calling the work "venerable" in its bold, new artistic direction. As for Li Quan herself, she maintains that "no matter what lens others use to look at us, we're completely magnanimous."

"I could only be a nude model for my father's paintings," Li Quan explained, "I wouldn't accept it with any other artists or photographers... My father has always been an upstanding man who makes me feel secure. To give my body for art, especially my father's art, is a pure act."

"My daughter is beautiful, kind-hearted and pure," Li Zhuangping says. "No one who's met her has evil thoughts, but simply wants to cherish her." According to Li, who attained his wife and daughter's permission before going ahead with the work, there are no ethical problems to consider: "It was just the same as giving her a bath as a child."

[Images via Gucheng]

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