Cover image of the review
Noriko Nakamura, Magma, 2020, watercolour on paper, 18 x 25cm. Courtesy of the artist and Caves.

  • Amelia Winata

18 Jul 2020
Caves 19 Jun - 18 Jul 2020

The first image one sees upon entering Spring/Sprung at Caves is Noriko Nakamura’s tiny painting, Magma, 2020. The small watercolour, just 18 by 25 cm, depicts a cartoon-like nude woman whose vagina doubles as an erupting volcano. Laying on her back, hot magma streams down her navel, between her breasts and across her thighs. Small fires have established themselves in her armpit and navel. Together with the spurting volcano, they contribute to a huge plume of dense smoke above. With her arms stretched above her head, her back arched and eyes closed with satisfaction, the woman is clearly in a state of sexual ecstasy, The volcano is orgasmic. The red magma doubles as menstrual blood and as a reminder of female reproduction. It is this conflation of sexuality and parenting that Nakamura takes as her central theme in the collection of watercolours that she presents as her part of Spring/Sprung. Nakamura’s representation teases out the binaries often imposed on women who choose motherhood. Nakamura’s mother is a sexual mother, not a MILF. There is a difference. She is not open to the gaze of her audience but, instead, is enclosed in her own bubble of pleasure.

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