The Big Horse and other stories... 2003 The Big Horse The Big Horse The Big Horse Philantha (Flower Lover) 2003

The Museum of Love and Romance

The Museum of Love and Romance

The Museum of Love and Romance, founded in 1997, is an ongoing and open project exploring conceptions of love.

Funding from the Visual Arts and Crafts Board of The Australia Council allowed me to undertake extensive research into museums and collections devoted to erotic art in Japan, China, America and the United Kingdom. The exhibition, "The Big Horse and other stories..." (2001)  responded to the themes, imagery and taxonomy represented in these collections.

 'The Big Horse and other stories' included a new video work by Alison Main Hiho-kan (2001) that documents the pluralistic, contrary and playfully perverse 'Secret Treasure Houses' of Japan.

The theme of bestiality or zoophillia and animal sex are old themes, appearing on cave walls in ancient times, as depictions of myths in Leda and the Swan up until this day. These themes were common to all the collections I visited, quite prominently represented. This commonality and the over arching taboo that exists around bestiality has inspired this exhibition today. The collection of images, some inspired directly from exhibits on display, some working purely as documentation of the kinds of material I have researched.

The outcome is not to suggest a universality in the midst of these varying cultures but in a way to observe the process of the exhibition - that the collection is in its own way the institution revealing or concealing desire - in this there is a kind of universality - for all cultures are involved in a kind of dance - bringing elements to the fore  while restricting other images and ideas.



I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have assisted with my research including:

Prof. Liu Dalin and Dr. Hu Hong Xia, The Museum of Ancient Chinese Sex Culture, Shanghai; Dr. David Gaimster, The Secretum, The British Museum; Daniel Gluck, CEO and President, The Museum of Sex, New York; Catherine Johnson, Curator, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction; Helen Fuller; Dr. Adrian Graves; Alison Main; Karen Pierce; Eiichi Tosaki; Yimei Wang; Lindy Warrell; Raymond Xue; Christopher Zhu and David Zhu.

Alison Main