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Namio Harukawa - Painter

Namio Harukawa (春川ナミオ)was a pseudonymous Japanese fetish artist best known for his works depicting female domination ("femdom"), with erotic asphyxiation through facesitting appearing as a frequent subject of his art. He depicted voluptuous women, who dominated and used men as human furniture.

Harukawa was born in 1947 in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. As a high school student he contributed artwork to Kitan Club [ja], a post-war pulp magazine that published sadomasochistic artwork and prose. He developed a career as a fetish artist in the 1960s and 1970s, taking the pen name "Namio Harukawa": formed from an anagram of "Naomi", a reference to Jun'ichirō Tanizaki's novel of the same name, and the last name of actress Masumi Harukawa. Though he worked in pornographic magazines for the majority of his career, his work received wider recognition and critical acclaim beginning in the 2000s. His art has earned praise from Oniroku Dan, Shūji Terayama, and Madonna, and favorable comparisons to works by Robert Crumb.

His artwork typically features women with large breasts, hips, legs, and buttocks dominating and humiliating smaller men, typically through facesitting or other forms of sexualized smothering. Bondage and human furniture are depicted frequently in his art.

Kyonyū Katsuai, a two-volume book of Harukawa's works, has been published in Japan. Two volumes of works by Harukawa have been published by French publishing house United Dead Artists: Callipyge in 2009, the first book of works by Harukawa published outside of Japan, and Maxi Cula in 2012. Works by Harukawa were exhibited at the Museum of Eroticism in Paris in 2013, his first solo exhibition outside of Japan. The exhibition featured 71 works by Harukawa, 59 of which were from his Garden of Domina series. The Incredible Femdom Art of Namio Harukawa, an anthology of Harukawa's works, was published by Kawade Shobō Shinsha in 2019.

Garden of Domina (the most famous opera) tells the story of Ohara Kana, a former volleyball player turned model. She capitalises on the filming of an advertisement for a cosmetics company to awaken the employees to the joys of domination. She becomes a director and opens a beauty salon, with services provided exclusively by masochistic men, creating a company that rents out slaves… and a theme park run by slaves. The drawings, in black and white and colour—done on Kent paper—depict, except for a few details, the same scene of a woman sitting on top of a submissive man, crushing him with all her weight while continuing what she was doing: drinking a glass of wine with a friend, smoking a cigarette, or reading a book.

In the 2000s, Namio Harukawa’s work gained popularity particularly thanks to recognition from author SM Oniroku Dan, and also Madonna, who shared his work on Instagram.

Harukawa died on April 24, 2020. His death was confirmed in a blog post by Yuko Kitagawa, the owner of a video production company with longstanding ties to Harukawa.

Credits images: from web


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