Police in Tokyo have arrested a female artist on charges of obscenity, with investigators claiming that she distributed electronic data that could be used to replicate models of her genitals using a 3D printer, The Japan Times reported.
Officials suspect that Megumi Igarashi, a 42-year-old Japanese artist working under the pseudonym Rokudenashi-ko (which translates from Japanese into “Absurd Girl”), sent the data to a 30-year-old man in the Kagawa Prefecture. Igarashi, however, denies sending any images and does not view the data as obscene.
The material may be related to a project Igarashi recently crowdfunded to build a kayak shaped like her vagina, rowing the yonic vessel down a river between Tokyo and Kanagawa. A petition calling for her immediate release has emerged online and is nearing its target goal of 5,000 signatures.
Igarashi is not the first artist to integrate her own genitals into art and design objects. Performance artist Valie Export entered a movie theater in Munich wearing crotchless pants for “Aktionshose: Genitalpanik (Action Pants: Genital Panic)” (1968), sculptor Jamie McCartney has casts of hundreds of real labia in plaster for her “Great Wall Of Vagina,” Rebecca Loyche has created a whole series of vagina doorknobs that are available for purchase, and last month artist Deborah de Robertis took part in a guerrilla performance in front of Gustave Courbet’s “Origin of the World” (1866).