Shungaboy

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Shungaboy was born in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. He has been drawing and painting since childhood but after an illustrious career as an architect, started focusing on his art about 10 years ago. He knew that he wanted to become a full-time artist so he volunteered as an archivist at the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation (now the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art) in NYC to see firsthand the work of other male figurative artists. At the same time, he started attending the erotic male drawing group at Leslie-Lohman. He has attended the Tom of Finland Life Drawing Workshop, the Colorado Gay Men's Drawing Group, and Pines Nude Drawing in Fire Island Pines, NY. More recently, he has been attending the Sketch Sessions at the Vitruvian Gallery in Washington DC. He works mostly in drawing groups and enjoys the camaraderie they provide. He lives in NYC.

About the name Shungaboy. Shunga was the erotic art genre in 17th-19th century Japan. Literally, "Spring Art" with the word shun (Spring) connoting sex and ga being art, shunga depicted explicit sexual scenes between men and women as well as men and men. It was a popular, broadly appreciated art form until censorship drove it underground. Being of Japanese ancestry, he thought it was a playful, albeit a bit presumptuous, name to use.

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I often feel oppressed, restricted, even persecuted by society just for who I am, a gay man and an Asian one at that. Why are male nudes so taboo? I want people to see that the male body is beautiful and not scary or something to be ashamed of; I use bright colors because that's how I want to see the world and so people who look at my paintings can begin to see beyond the nudity.

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