Tag Archives: nudity

Censorship of the arts: facebook and Instagram

Update: Shortly after writing this article on Linkedin, I posted this on my facebook on April 3, 2018. Subsequently, I got blocked by facebook for 30 days. I cannot post, like, comment on my main profile, nor can I access my Pages. Even Messenger was rendered unusable. People could message me but I could not message them. It is a harsh penalty that affects my business communication.


(Originally published on April 1, 2018 on Linkedin.)

It is no secret that facebook and Instagram have taken measures to censor male nudity, and has specific guidelines on what is considered permissible within their community standards. I might think it was fine if it wasn’t for seeing many images of women, entirely nude showing their genitals and having their nipples ‘covered’ with 2 Xes or stars. Yes, these are beautiful images of women, yet very much nude. Meanwhile, on my @theasianmale IG, I have my images pulled down within seconds of posting a grid of my nude photography. Yes, there is a double standard.

On facebook, I was banned for 7 days for posting a similar image of 2 guys embracing one another on an LGBT Artist group. Not only could I not post, comment or like on my personal profile, I also could not do anything on my Pages. I was frozen not able to do anything. This has been for many years, and I try to tread carefully by not showing any genitals. Now, I cannot advertise on facebook or Instagram. I have another photographer who has faced the same issues and was blocked for 30 days from posting.

Facebook for me offers the best place for interaction with my friends and fans, who are in my database of collectors. We interact and discuss on Messenger. It has affected my business and my belief that artists such as myself have limited channels to disseminate my work.

I know Linkedin is a place where people are in business, and maybe posting this rant might not be a place for this, but for me, art is my business and social media is vital, but this censorship is slowly suffocating me and others that have no ill intention but to showcase the beauty of the human male body, which is a part of our very nature and being.

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Tin from Zurich

A set of images I took of Tin while I was in Zurich for my Asian male exhibition. Rough and manly, I decided to go for a high contrast image of him and to minimize any retouching of his skin. I then added the thick borders, as it seemed to make the image come alive.

Publishing nudity in China: Censorship or Fear?

Censored or Fear?

Another update on the publication process of my book 3.AM. As it turns out, my printer has informed me today that my book’s binding, which was supposed to be done in China, would have to done here locally in Hong Kong. Why? Because the book’s images did not pass the ‘censorship’ in China. There is no reason explained by my printer as to any specifics or which images were in question. However, they don’t want to take the chance for breaking the law and have to find an alternative company to do the binding in Hong Kong. My photography is probably seen as pornographic in nature. Binding here is going to be more costly. As a result, the date for the release of the book is still pending on the above.

It is my understanding that nothing pornographic in nature is be to published in China, but I know from my friends that there are indeed publications that are being printed and sold in China that are show full nudity (erections). What I don’t fully understand is what exactly is the fear that printers here in Hong Kong have when and if they do send something over across the borders for binding. Why? And if so, what are the offending images that make my images a danger zone for the printer? Would my books get discarded or trashed? I have had several printers in the past decline working with me because of the nature of my work. Prudish Hong Kong once again or is there a real threat to them. I wonder if is not so much as China, but Hong Kong that is taking the safe stance. I have never once thought that my work was really edgy, although yes, I have been more brave in  my selection of images for 3.AM. I even have some bondage photographs.

By comparison, my work is nothing close to the sexual eroticism that Ren Hang creates, nor for the matter the darker material by Rong Rong. Of course, their work is created in China, and they are well known internationally already. And most likely, their publications are printed elsewhere.

In the meantime, I have sent a cordial email to my printer for hopefully an answer as to the ramifications of what could possibly happen if my work was to go over the border for printing.

Censored or Fear?

A few shots of Wei from 2006

Wei_0146wtmk

Wei_0164wtmk

I thought I would post a few images that are in my archives. Here are 3 photographs of Wei, which were taken back in 2006. With hardly a body to speak of but the willingness and spirit to let me photograph him during his budding youth, I was pleased to have him in front of the camera. The photograph of him that made it into the Asian Male – 1.AM book was the one below. Wei_0011awtmk

Documenting The Asian Male – 3.AM as it goes…

I thought I would start to write about the process of putting together the book ‘The Asian Male – 3.AM’. I didn’t feel comfortable telling the story about in facebook, as there have been numerous problems with posting ANY sort of nude/semi-nude images there. Some poor soul has been giving me the hard time by reporting my images. And yes, facebook then has come back to me to force me to delete the image, plus any other image I might have on there that could be breaking their ‘community standard’. Yes, I have read their rules. On the other hand, I’m sort of glad there are rules in place on facebook; it’s just not knowing where to draw the line on what could be construed as offensive. Anyway, I hope that blogger doesn’t come ranting to me with the same problems. I’m not even sure if there are Blogger rules in place that will push away offenders of nudity or pornography). Can anyone enlighten me? I did think of using Tumblr to post my blog, but I find that portal full of pornography. I think Blogger is (sort of) a safe haven. Here is the photograph that got reported… DSC_0042 It seem quite harmless doesn’t it? But YES, there is nudity in the framed image. Bring out the magnifying glass! Oh, we can simply PINCH these days. Well my first Post is over with, and it’s sort of out of system. 🙂 Till next time..