By Kim Rahn
A member of a broadcasting and Internet content deliberation commission posted on his own blog a painting of a woman’s private parts in protest against the commission’s banning of a photo of a man’s genitals.
The commissioner’s blog is subject to the commission’s deliberation.
Park Kyung-sin, one of nine commissioners at the Korea Communications Standards Commission, posted the painting “L’Origine du Monde” (Origin of the World) by French painter Gustave Courbet on his blog Thursday, claiming the commission applies unlawful standards.
The painting from 1866 is of a nude woman exposing her private parts. It is owned by the Orsay Museum in France. People can easily see the painting by searching for it on the Internet.
Park’s act came after the commission ordered a portal site operator to remove the photos of a man’s penis from his own blog.
In protest against the decision, Park uploaded the photos on his blog on July 20, but removed them Wednesday as controversy rose.
The Korea University law professor then posted the painting, saying the removed photos carried a similar level of exposure.
“The photos were like this painting, Origin of the World which everybody can see at the Orsay. They neither contained any sexual narrative, nor implied sexual intercourse, except for just showing human genitals,” he said on the blog.
Park said individuals may have different opinions on whether the photos were lascivious or not. “But it is a different issue concerning the state controlling its people and their opinions. Such control should be limited to cases causing damage to all people.”
He said the photos may be categorized as harmful material for the youth. “So, it may be right if only adults are allowed to see them. But if we define them as lewd material, even adults cannot see them and they are expelled from the legal boundary of expression.”
Following the disputes, Park’s name and his blog have become one of the most hit keywords.
More than 4,000 Internet users have left comments about the issue on his blog. Some supported Park, saying Origin of the World is art and such work should be accepted, while others criticized that it was inappropriate for him to post the painting now when the photos are controversial.
The commission said it will deliberate on Park’s blog on Aug. 4 even though the photos in question have already been removed.