Aiko Robinson’s work is truly radical, not because of its skilful and shrewd homage to the sexually explicit images of Shunga, so celebrated in Shinto culture, but because she chooses to make these images using the graphic techniques and vocabulary of the original Utamakura masters. It is because she is a young Japanese/New Zealand woman; because her works maintain respect for the past whilst mindfully and skilfully contemporising the precedents…and because she can really draw. Robinson positions herself as part of the deeply embedded history of eroticism in art that is woven into a broad cognisance across most cultures of the centrality and essence of sexuality.
The scrutiny of history and aesthetics through the drawing that underpins Robinson’s abilities. Her drawings and etchings are exquisitely made, not because she fetishises technique but because she understands that making matters, and once that ability is assured then one is free to interpret, to develop and innovate.
Robinson’s works rely on our deeper inclinations to voyeurism and the recognition that there is a fundamental truthfulness, a confronting candour to them that augments the fantasy options available in a Utopian “floating world”.