Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi had an interesting idea for an art project: She wanted to create a kayak modeled on her vagina. But when Igarashi emailed images of her vagina to her supporters for 3D printing, she was arrested in Tokyo on grounds of obscenity.
Igarashi, 42, started a crowd-funding project for the kayak under the name Rokudenashiko — which roughly translates to "good-for-nothing girl" — and wrote on her campaign's page that she wanted the boat to be anatomically accurate. She wrote that silicone molds will "gradually deteriorate, which makes mass production difficult," requiring monetary support. According to Japan's Kyodo news agency, Igarashi received roughly one million yen to fund the project.
Igarashi ran into legal trouble when she emailed design files to those who had donated money to the project, asking them to print 3D renderings of her genitalia. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested her for breaking obscenity laws in sending the files, according to Kyodo. "I cannot understand why the police recognize the 3D data as obscene material," Igarashi reportedly told police.
This isn't Igarashi's first genitalia-inspired art project — she's previously created comic books, dioramas, and even a remote-control car based on her vagina. She's already built quite a fan following, too: There's a Change.org petition to protest Igarashi's arrest, and it's already garnered more than 10,000 signatures.
And as for Igarashi's opinion? "My work is against discriminative, ignorant treatment of the vagina," Igarashi wrote on her website, translated by Wired. "I thought it was just funny to decorate my vagina and make it into a diorama, but I was very surprised to see how upset people get when they see my works."