Whereas in Western society, phallus symbols stand for lust and sex pure and simple, the Lingam in Buddhist and Hindu cultures represents, apart from the life force, fertility and male creativity of the Indian god Shiva, universal creative forces. These symbols are often encountered in south-eastern Asia in vividly sculptural form both in ritual observance and in daily life. Large wooden and stone phallus objects adorn temples as well as public spaces. Inspired by the subject and curious about the question of sex and fertility in today's everyday lifestyle in the West, Ruudt Peters, a well-known artist in jewellery and professor at the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, has organised an international exhibition project. One hundred and twenty-two artists from twenty-two different countries - artists of fine arts, jewellery and design - give their answers in a wide variety of exciting ways with their jewellery creations to the question of the Occidental view of the Lingam today - a new, fresh take on this primeval symbol yet viewed through the focus of each artist's individual experience of it.
Realised in diverse materials, the works range from realistic biological representations to conceptual interpretations. Some translate the theme of the mystical, spiritual plane; others reveal a tongue-in-cheek approach to it. Hence this publication includes not only all sorts of phalli but also quieter works that invite contemplation, such as 'Adam's Garden', as well as a colourful and cheerful crocheted donkey brooch, its jaws wide open in a lusty bray. This book represents an international stock-taking of this exhilarating yet unusual subject by asking the pivotal question 'How much sex can jewellery stand?'. 122 Exhibiting artists, including: Volker Atrops, Gijs Bakker, Manfred Bischoff, Sara Borgegard, Helen Britton, Sigurd Bronger, Monika Brugger, Johanna Dahm, Paul Derrez, Iris Eichenberg, Christiane Forster, Warwick Freeman, Thomas Gentille, Andi Gut, Daniel Kruger, Esther Knobel, Helfried Kodre, Kadri Malk, Nanna Melland, Evert Nijiland, Ted Noten, Ruudt Peters, Peter Skubic, Graziano Visintin, Lisa Walker, Marcel Wanders and Norman Weber.