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Elegance and vulgarity has always been sworn enemies of each other in popular culture over the years. Guo Degang once said, drinking coffee is elegant and eating garlic is vulgar; nude photography is elegant and couple telling dirty jokes is vulgar… Now, in a scenic spot of Xinmi, Henan Province, elegance and vulgarity crashes again.
Planed to dedicate herself to the art, the nude photography model never thought she was going to get shooed away by tree branches. On June 9, 2010, at the scenic area of Xinmi, a naked female model posing for nude photography was shooed away by the local villagers.
June 9, at 9 am, 10 photography enthusiasts and 3 women came to a scenic spot in Xinmi to shoot human body photography. As the model, a woman took off all her clothes and posed nude on top of a giant rock. The photography enthusiasts started shooting.
This scene was observed by a local villager. He quickly ran down the mountain and briefed all the other villagers what he just saw. Soon, villagers heard the news one by one came to the spot and stood on the nearby hills watching the naked girl. Some even took out their cell phones to get ready to take pictures. The nude model saw these villagers were also taking pictures and stopped the photo shoot. Then the photography enthusiasts had to disperse the villager crowd. But the villagers did not leave, they just stood far away and watching from far away. Soon more and more people gathered. The woman kept changing her poses, some tourists also began crowding and taking pictures.
Once hearing someone is shooting body art, some male villagers followed them “showing their support”. In order to not let the model feel embarrassed, some villagers hid behind the trees and watched from there.
Villager Mr. Gu was one of them, but as he watched, he heard a loud shouting sound from far away “This shameless girl, Mr. Gu! are you still watching? Hurry up and get your ass back over here!”
Mr. Gu said, “I am finished, my wife came!” Then, Ms. Gu grabbed Mr. Gu by the ear and dragged him back home. Seeing this, villager Mr. Zhang said, “She is dedicated to art, not shameless. This is the beauty of body art.”
11:10 am, suddenly a couple of men rushed down the hill led by an elderly person. He held a tree branch, walking and shouting, “No more shooting, go anywhere else but don’t make a fool of yourself here. In order to shoot here you must get all 300 villagers permissions.”
The old man shouted and swung the tree branch at the nude model. Luckily the photographers protected her in time, the model “survived”.
The old man claimed that his name is Shen Guixian, 60 years old and lived in Shen Xiandong village at the Forest Park in Xinmi. He said, “These people coming here to shoot nude photos are too indecent, turning the village into chaos.”
A photography enthusiast from Zhengzhou, Mr. Wang said, after the 90’s of last century, both society tolerance and the diversity of artistic expression are quite different than before. According to Mr. Wang, in January 2001, the first nude photographic art show was held in Guangzhou. Almost at the same time, several nude photography exhibitions were held in the ancient city of Xi’an. During one of the Xi’an exhibition, after viewing the show a husband said “shooting these things are too dirty.” And his wife contested “What do you know, you only look at the photos other people read the photos.”
“For this incident today, I can only say, that the villagers in this small and closed-off village could not accept the concept of nude photography. But the story I told earlier shows that many people actually appreciate it from the art point of view”
Another photography enthusiast Mr. Ma said, “Body art is an elegant art, excluding ethics and feudalism, just from a purely technical point of view, I think human body photography needs to go into nature in order to create high quality work.”
According to the model’s manager Ms Zhang, photo shoot model is university student in Zhengzhou, 20 years old, worked in a model agency in Zhengzhou part-time as nude photography model for three years.
“She has been going into the wild for nude photo shoots over countless times. Each time, depending on to the different content, shooting venue and requirements, the fee is different. This time her fee was 2,000 yuan.” Ms Zhang said.
The model said, “I was invited by the photographers to take these pictures, I am not some doll for some random people to take pictures and for them to look at.”
Shenxian Dong Forest Park manager said “The photographers and the models coming to the park, they all bought tickets, 40 each. Taking pictures is not against the law, we cannot stop them from entering, but some villagers think nude photography offends public morals, some even insulting and shooing them away which makes very difficult on us.”
A tourist from Luoyang, Mr. Li said, “This is art, it is so beautiful.”
Another tourist from Zhengzhou Ms Zhang covered her eyes and walked around the naked model. She said, born in this era, conservative people like them are actually suitable to appreciate this kind of art, however if it was her daughter, she would have never let her becoming a nude photography model.
Ms Ma, also a mother said very directly, “I cannot accept this, although it is for devotion of art, she is so young and must reserve some dignity. No matter what “beautiful” means to other people, first must learn to respect oneself.”
Shen Guoxian said, in 2008, many photography enthusiasts also organized a nude model photography contest in this scenic area. Some male villagers followed them all the way until the models went home.
“Because of this, there have been on and off family conflicts in the village for two years now. Whenever the husband comes home late, wife would make sarcastic comments ‘went to watch naked girl taking pictures again?’.” Shen Guoxian said, their village only has a little over 300 people, considered to be pretty closed-off and traditional. Since last time people came for nude photos, one village couple got into a huge fight, everyone in the village knows about it.
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