Female Gable Figure

Female Gable Figure Female Gable Figure (Dilukai), 19th- early 20th century; Belauan Wood, paint, Kaolin (Chinese Clay) The piece of work I selected caught my attention as soon as I set eyes on it. It is “Female Gable Figure (Dilukai)” a 25 2/3-inch high wooden figure of a nude woman with her legs straddled. The piece seemed to be very crudely done. It appeared to be chiseled, very abstracted and very unrealistic. Her hair appears to be in a bun, her face has no expression. The arms that lead down to her knees and upper torso look detachable.

The breasts are triangular and the left breast is lopsided. There is also an additional piece of wood around the lower part of the left arm. The legs are apart and the under half of the leg in a darker color. The woman’s exposed genitals are represented by a large dark colored triangle. The artist carved the woman’s vagina in vivid detail leading me to believe this sculpture was used for some sexual purpose.

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The figure appears on a wall in the museum however, due to the name of the piece I imagine this piece would have been mounted over the door of a building. I had two reactions to this piece. When I first saw this piece, it got me upset. Upset in that I did not believe someone would actually look at a woman and think that a sculpture like this one would be a good idea. I immediately thought this artist has no respect for women or a woman’s body.

Then I found it somewhat funny and ironic that although I found this piece upsetting it was one of the few pieces that caught my attention. I found myself wanting to know more about this piece and the reason behind its existence. Thus making it the piece, I would write this paper on. My response to this piece came from my thinking that whoever did this sculpture must not have thought very highly of the woman this piece is representing. To think the artist took his/her time to carve every detail of a female’s vagina and not pay much attention to the rest of the woman’s body got me a little upset.

However, after reading what this piece was originally used for and the story behind it I looked at it differently. I still cannot view this piece as fine art but I accept what its original purpose was. Arts and Paintings.


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