繩繫/STRINGS ATTATCHED. SUBAY KINBAKU, SHIBARI ARTIST

SUBAY1_7442NEW_FIN
Jennifer wears 連身套裝/jumpsuit – Maison Margiela MM6

Photos : Nick D for precursorprints.com
Translation : Lil Fly aka Caroline Chan
Model : Jennifer Nguyen _jenuinelove
Assist : Jose Chu, Kammy Kam

Shibari means “to tie” in Japanese. The word has now been co-opted to describe the artistic Japanese style of rope bondage. A girl in Hong Kong has been making headway in this artform and it was time to talk to her about her burgeoning talent. It was time to satisfy our sexual urges and ask her to explain what she was doing, and what we are looking at. Let’s break bread with Ms. Subay Kinbaku.

<< ENG CON’T AFTER CHINESE >>

日文 Shibari 有“綑綁”的意思。這個詞彙現今泛指日式繩縛美學。而在香港,有位女士在這個藝術平台開始取得穩步進展。我們找來她介紹一下這個特別的藝術,以滿足我們的性慾望之餘,更了解一下她從事的到底是什麼,我們欣賞的又是什麼。現在有請Subay Kinbaku 小姐。

SPITGAN : 你好,Subay, 請你說一下你在做的是什麼。
Subay Kinbaku : 我是一位駐港的Shibari藝術家,亦視自己為一位表演及教育者。我大約在兩年前開始舉辦Shibari的活動;由於舉辦Shibari活動的場地比較難找,於是我在一年前開了一間專為Shibari而設的工作室。我曾在香港及國際等地演出,而在香港舉辦的活動大都是表演同工作坊。但我最希望的是教育群眾有關Shibari的文化而不是想成名,於是最近我決定退出舉辦活動這個範疇,並專注在商業計劃上面,這個我等一下再解釋。

SP : 為什麼要退休?這個對我來說是新聞。
SK : 過去兩年,我花了很多時間及心血去教育圈內甚至圈外人,但到最後發現要改變一個人的觀念好難,開始讓我感到挫折。在圈內有太多drama,有些人只想藉著這種藝術去出名或者引人注目。我覺得這扭曲了藝術的原意。對我來說,Shibari不只是一種身體的狀態,或者兩個人的連繫。最重要的是個人思想及態度。我覺得時常保持謙虛的心非常重要,這是我在日本學習時的領會。它有點像柔道,練習時要帶有非常純潔的心,而我覺得好多人都欠缺。這開始令我非常反感。

SP : 你覺得這種態度只會在香港出現,還是到處都是?
SK : 我覺得好多國家都有這個問題。只是在香港群眾沒有接受太多有關Shibari的教育。完全了解的人和那些自以為了解、但其實並不的人的比率很不平均。

SP : 是什麼令你對Shibari產生興趣?
SK : 四年前因為BDSM我發現了Shibari。哈哈。四年前的我真的好無聊,所以開始上網找一些BDSM的聚會…

SP : 什麼是BDSM?
SK : BDSM是綁縛與性調教的縮寫(Bondage & Discipline,即B/D),支配與臣服(Dominance & Submission,即D/S),施虐與受虐(Sadism & Masochism,即S/M)。開始時我只對這個有興趣,並沒有聽過繩索同束縛。我會稱它比較像用手銬、皮鞭等等的東西。我在其中一個聚會中遇到一對對Shibari好有興趣的情侶,並開始當他們Shibari的模特兒。而開始學繩綁其實是因為一場意外所至:有個美國人想在香港舉辦一場繩綁工作坊,當時我好有興趣當他的模特兒,於是向他自薦。當時他說了一些像「你不夠漂亮, 又不纖瘦,我也不覺得你有吸引力,為什麼我要綁你?」 因為他的話我當時很不開心,於是我決定開始學。首先是因為我想可以自己綁起自己,其次我想讓人知道這種藝術不一定要自我。所以開始的時候我嘗試了很多自體懸吊法,亦去了美國同英國等地參與一些活動。但其實當我去日本上課的時候,才算真正開始學習。

SP : 去日本跟日本人學習這個,對你來說是否重要?
SK : 是的,因為真的有很大的分別。在西方,他們只會專注在安全性和形式,及怎樣去綁等。在日本他們反而更關心的是你能否透過繩去達成某種連繫。

SP : 這個很有趣,原來在不同地方,有不同的專注點。
SK : 其實現在很多西方國家開始明白日本所著重的連繫的重要性。亦都開始在教學的時候包含這個元素。

SP : 所以連繫本身並非西方國家風格的主要部份?
SK : 我會說不是。舉個例子,現在在倫敦同巴黎,甚至其他比較大的城市,有比較多的群眾。好多人會去日本然後將日本的元素帶回自己的國家。但還是有好多其他地方未受日本影響,他們要不做一些混合的風格,要不完全受西方風格影響,像會用繩去編織。

SP : 即是說純粹是視覺上的東西。好有趣。對你來說,Shibari是否與性、性慾有關?
SK : 我認為這種藝術包含幾個範疇。我不會說它不可以跟性、性慾有關聯,這兩個是非常不一樣的。因為這種藝術並非一定涉及性行為。它可以,但沒有也不成問題。這樣說吧:Shibari是非常色情的。而如果以日本的方式去解釋,其實色情、性是Shibari的根基。好多人認為當你做這個藝術的時候,其實是將一個女性的情色表現出來,你以繩去表現她美麗的一面,身體同思想。有些人認為它一定要跟性慾、色情有關;有些則只追求那種連繫,甚至是朋友之間的親密感;有些人想感受個種痛楚同折磨,而有些則想投降,感受那種被束縛的感覺。也有人鍾意那種暴露的感覺,在日本我們稱之為 shuuchinawa,即是色情片入面那些鍾意成為一個展覽品、展示自己私處的女人,這個都是某些人鍾意Shibari的原因。她們會半裸,是有點點暴露的。有些人純粹為表演藝術而去做。

SP : 即是說有好多人會以自己的方式去做,或者尋求不同的東西,甚至有不同的原因去做。
SK : 是的。

SP : 色情對你來說是什麼?
SK : 色情是一種……非常微妙的東西……一個完全、公開裸露的女人對我來說不是色情,我反而會覺得好難看及太過火。色情一定要有幻想的空間。所以我一直認為,半裸露或者留一些想像空間才是色情。你要去了解被綁者的想法。例如,如果綑綁的對象非常害羞,你需要時間去讓她脫衣服,讓觀眾感受她的情緒甚至當中的色情感。而如果想突顯色情感,你需要用繩去塑造身體同身體的輪廓。一位日本著名的畫家Kinoko Hajime曾經說過:「你可以用繩讓女人看起來更瘦,突出她的性感部位。這些都是令整件事更色情的元素。

SUBAY2_7442NEW_FIN
Jennifer wears 毛衣/sweater – Maison Margiela MM6, 短褲/panties – La Perla

SP : 那你會覺得平常的性行為好無趣嗎?
SK : 哈哈,我剛剛開始了一段關係。這是一個很好的問題。因為我男朋友是一個「Vanilla」。

SP : 什麼?
SK : Vanilla,即是說他喜歡正常的性行為。

SP : 哈哈,我一直都好鍾意潮語。
SK : 哈哈,正常的性行為,唔…其實真的要看你怎去定義正常的性行為。因為正常人都會有比較粗暴的性行為。我可以接受粗暴或者變態的性行為,但浪漫式的性愛我就不大能接受。

SP : 真的嗎?但你目前正處於一段浪漫關係中?
SK : 對我來講變態同粗暴就是浪漫。

SP : 好的,那我明白你的定義了,但什麼是浪漫的性愛?是不是就是要溫柔?
SK : 溫柔,是的。想像你的伴侶用十五分鐘時間去慢慢撫摸你每一寸嘅肌膚,我應該會瞓着。

SP : 哈哈哈哈哈。對我來說,好多事情都可以接受,我不清楚這算不算變態,但浪漫對我來說是重要的。浪漫應該是因為兩個人都投入其中。
SK : 好吧,一年一次。

SP : 基於這個日本風格,女性去做綑綁會不會很罕見?
SK : 在日本,大多數做繩綁都是女性。

SP : 真的嗎?我還以為在亞洲地區大都是以男性主權為主。
SK : 在日本比較不一樣。那裡有好多尊業的女性施虐者。我會說在日本之外好少女性會做綑綁。

SP : 你之前說想教育其他人,你想將支配或BDSM這個範疇與Shibari分割嗎?你能否自在地接受這些為Shibari的元素?還是你想它被承認為一種藝術?
SK : 如果你是女性,我會說專注在藝術性上。我在其他的專訪提及Shibari藝術性時,亦有提及其他範疇。我覺得現今比較多人會專注在藝術層面上,但係如果你只專注於一部份,其他的部份就會被忽略。

SP : 你說得沒錯。老實說很難將它性慾的本質除去。
SK : 是的,所以現在我會平均地看Shibari每一個部份。

SP : 在拍攝之前的對話當中,我稍為意識到攝影未必是捕捉這個過程和所涉及的最佳方式。你提及到情感上的過程:具有開頭同結尾?所以當你遇到你要綁的人時候,這個過程可能已經開始…
SK : 我不會去評論攝影。因為即使你坐著看一場表演,你都未必可以捕捉到Shibari的真正意義。我做過好多場表演,有時有人會說他們不理解。場景內涉及的情感同埋關聯,基本上是兩個人之間的事情,其他人不一定每次都可以領會到。有時做show的時候,可能會想將某事誇張化,去帶出當中的情感。但正常來說不會這樣做,所以當你在現實生活入面見到我繩綁的時候,你不會感覺到什麼,更何況是攝影師能否捕捉得到?

SP : 你比較鍾意綁男性還是女性呢?
SK : 啊…女性…哈哈。

SP : 為什麼?
SK : 因為我是一個女人,我覺得同女人會比較自在。有好多男人以SM為前提找我綁他們。亦有好多人會找我去教他們,對我來說處理一個女人比男人容易。男人通常比較重,比較重的話都比較危險。如果不是涉及性慾,只是為了增加經驗,我覺得綁男人是沒有問題的。其實我綁過的人當中,幾乎有60%都是男人。

SP : 你會不會說找你的人,無論是男是女,他們的出發點同目的都是一樣呢?會不會有些女人會說「噢 我比較了解Shibari……」,有沒有人去找你就說:「我想你綁我,看看有什麼會發生,而這些人會不會比女性更了解Shibari呢?
SK : 我沒有這種偏見,亦不認為同性別有關。

SP : 我相信無論是什麼性別或者原因,你一定能夠接觸到各種各樣的人。我喜歡你說Shibari有一個好真實的自由同即興元素,你喜歡這個嗎?
SK : 嗯…當你做到的時候便會鍾意,哈哈。進行Shibari的時候,即興很重要,因為每個人的身體都不同。所以即興不單只是為了讓整個形式更好看,當中亦有比較實際的原因,例如安全性等等。有時候都要避免綁到身體某些部位。

SP : 我們曾經訪問過好多音樂人。而對於某些音樂,即興佔很大部份,有很多人真的非常重視即興。
對於今次這個拍攝,你有什麼感覺?你認為最具挑戰性的是?這個拍攝有高潮點嗎?
SK : 今個拍攝最難在於以好簡單的繩綁技巧去製造一個強悍形象。喺Shibari入面,用越小繩越好。

SP : 我明白了,很酷。
SK : 在時裝攝影,我可以透過很多繩去營造一個攝人的影像,但我覺得這樣會失去平衡。我最想做到的是可以在時尚、品味和Shibari中得到平衡。所以某程度上是很有難度的。

SP : 你說傳統的Shibari並不是很裸露?為模特兒穿著一直是你想做的事情,你覺得有無沒有成功?
SK : 我覺得今次拍攝的場景和道具很好很有趣,因為某程度上象徵和表現了日本人所做的東西。他們甚至會被綁住上街。

SP : 用繩?被綁住?
SK : 是的!用繩。他們會着一件大褸,而當他們去到特定、沒有很多人的地方,就會露出少少,類似在做一個展覽的形式。我覺得今次非常精準地展現了日本人會做的寫照。

SP : 嘩,那很棒,我之前並不知情。
讓人綁起來的感覺是怎樣的?因為你曾經當過被綁者。
SK : 那是一種束縛中嘅自由。你覺得你像失去了所有的控制能力,於是你投降。但同一時間你會覺得非常安全及溫暖,因為有人正在照顧你,你除了只需要放鬆其他的就不用去想,那些繩甚至好似一個人的手臂,你就正正係在其懷中。

SP : 聽落很不錯。這裡是不是有一個過程?你第一次參與是否有所保留呢?
SK : 那要視乎那人的技術有多好。

SP : 所以這個就是連繫的部份?
SK : 我說的不單止繩綁的技術,有好多人懂得怎去綑綁出複雜的圖案,但完全沒有涉及任何情緒。亦有些人只懂識得綁一隻手,但當中包含了權威,那是我非常享受的一種。所以關鍵在於有沒有將你綁的人涉入技巧當中,而不是綑綁本身有多複雜。

SP : 你有沒有綁過一些非常抗拒的人呢?他們的情感聯繫出現反差甚至衝突?
SK : 有啊,八月我去拜訪了一位日本人Elanya Gabe (Ren Yagami)。在他綁我的時候,我感覺到的是恐懼。

SP : 那是否他嘗試去達成的?
SK : 是的,恐懼和威脅。他認為製造恐懼就能夠製造刺激感,然後那個女仔便會不停地去想接下來會發生什麼事情。因此,會令她去製造更多幻想,和她一直壓抑的事情。

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Jennifer wears 上衣 /top – La Perla, 褲子/pants – Lanvin

SP : 這是不是一種古老的技術?
SK : 相對地還是比較新的。因為在歷史上,繩好多時候都是用作綑綁囚犯的。以前沒有金屬,所以他們會用繩。一開始是 Hojojitsu (hojojutsu),你不知道日本有一種表演像Kabuki (Kabukicho),或者日本一些畫作中那些在唱歌和跳舞的人?(歌舞技)一個叫Akashi Denki 的人開始畫一些比較色情的畫,例如在廁所做愛的畫面,讓畫作看起來更色情。這就是Shibari的發展經過。大概在30或者40年前,所以仍有好多人在學習這個藝術,這個藝術還在發展中。

SP : 你最鍾意的大師是?他們是否有各自的風格?
SK : Naka Akira是我最喜歡的藝術家,他的風格比較具折磨性,像Seminawa,但不像是一般的人想像的那種折磨。我會將它形容為一種美麗的痛苦,女人願意為愛去承擔別人的那種痛苦。最有意思的是,在好多Shibari的表演中,你會見到兩人好親密,甚至會擁抱。他們營造了雙方的存在感。但是Naka的風格反而是會製造一定的距離,他鍾意坐在好遠的地方看模特兒在掙扎。我覺得那反而縮短了雙方的距離,你明我的意思嗎?即使他們的距離好遙遠,但當中卻營造了一個非常強大的連繫。所以我真的很喜歡他比較古老同非對稱的風格。現今的Shibari你會見到好多對稱的作品,有好多不同形狀,但他卻不會這樣做。
我喜歡一個叫Hourai Kasumi 的女人。她是Naka Akira的學生,同時亦是一位母親。她的風格很有母愛、很慈祥。由於她有茶儀式和花卉安排的工作經驗,所以她的一舉一動都非常優雅。你可以在她的作品中感受到她的同情心。除此之外,我真的很喜歡見到女性進行繩綁,因為在日本以及外人們都有偏見,覺得女性不懂得綑綁。

SP : 你目前的技術水平去到那裡 ?
SK : 我會說我什麼都不懂。

SP : 但是否有一個領域去達成?像你好像不知道所有事情但又像知道所有事情?
SK : 我會說我已經了解Shibari的基礎。但要真正掌握這門藝術,還需要花好多時間,在日本去了解不同的綑綁。這些不是在三十個小時密集式訓練中可以學到的,必須通過長時間去浸淫。而其實你越花多時間去做,知道的卻會越少。

SP : 你認為你已經可以創造自己的風格,還是仍然朝着這個方向進發呢?
SK : 我其實有問過其他人…之前有一個男人在香港教過我。他說我的風格比較具服從性。我不大懂他的意思,我覺得他的意思是說我在綁不同的人的時候有不同的方式。我覺得Seminawa對我來說最具啟發性。因為我好鍾意折磨,好鍾意見到美麗的東西受苦,我亦都比較鍾意不太色情的關聯。是的,我不太喜歡色情及具支配性的事物。

SP : 你的下一個高點是什麼?
SK : 我覺得那會是我死了之後才發生的事情,你知啦,好多人都是死了之後才出名的。

SP : 什麼?哈哈哈哈哈哈,那會很慘…哈哈哈哈。
SK : 哈哈哈哈哈。

SP : 我準備給你一個開放式的問題,沒想到你會這樣回答。
SK : 哈哈哈哈。

SP : 我接著想問,你會不會在香港實現這件事呢?但是….
SK : 哈哈哈哈哈哈。

SP : 你提及想去日本去進修,會不會真的去實行呢?
SK : 我過去花了好多時間,跟不同的日本藝術家學習,但我現在只想專心跟隨一個老師,好好的去掌握他的技巧。我計劃跟向你提及過的那兩位藝術家學習。

SP : 那很好。
SK : 那個女人仍然是Naka的學生。

SP : 你是否會一直這樣往返,諮詢他、看他怎樣做?
SK : 是的,這是一段好漫長的關係。你亦可以換其他老師,但我不認為好多人會這樣做。日本人好著重忠誠,一旦建立關係,覺得已可領會,你便不會變。

SP : 那感覺一定很棒,這是什麼時候開始的?你直接去找他們?他們應該有好多傾慕者,就是去找他們然後問可否向他們學習就可以?那是否一個非常艱難的過程?
SK : 是的,就好似結交新朋友一樣。在談話當中,你可以知道你有多鍾意那個人,和那個人跟你有什麼相似之處。我跟Naka老師上堂的時候,花了一個鐘頭去傾計,因為我們都想了解對方。那時我就知道他會是一個好老師。

SP : 所以你好擅長觀察人?
SK : 可能是吧。

SP : 好糢糊的答案。哈哈。你有沒有試過跟任何音樂家合作?
SK : 你會不會認為一個流行歌手是音樂家?哈哈哈。

SP : 會的。不如這樣說,有沒有人找你用音樂去表達你所做的事情?
SK : 沒有,我不想這樣做,亦沒有計劃同音樂有任何連繫。我覺得這是兩件完全不同的事情。有人問我可不可以將Shibari放在一個流行歌手的演唱會入面。那個歌手是黎明。我諗佢只想營造一種令到人好驚訝的氣氛。

SP : 黎明?他想你在公眾地方綁起他嗎?
SK : 哈哈,無可能。

SP : 這樣做的話你應該可以在死之前出名。
SK : 咁都幾得人驚。

SP : 那三位是你最想合作的人?
SK : 我想同香港的同志遊行合作。我不會說BDSM的人或者Sadist一定是LGBT,但我覺得他們都是性別入面的少數族裔。在台灣的同志遊行,你都會見到好多BDSM。所以我希望他們可以將Shibari放在自由行入面。
另外我想和Joyce Cheng 合作。她經常宣傳有關身體形象的事情。她略胖,好多人說她太肥。我想用Shibari話比其他人知,體型不代表什麼。不代表你不可以讓人綁起來,亦不代表你懶。我想用Shibari去表現身體形象。其次的就與音樂、舞蹈有關。

SP : 我剛才問你會否做一些與音樂有關的,你說不會!
SK : 你有沒有聽過水舞間?像那種表演般,比較大型和可以延伸到去廣大群眾的。我相信會非常有趣。

SP : 你們有否集體研討過這個主意呢?那你是否要綁好多人呢?還是…
SK : 那會比較似音樂劇,有一個故事線。而不是分散同無連繫的音樂。是音樂、舞蹈、Shibari的連繫。

SP : 那有否涉及音樂?我留意到你綑綁的時候有播音樂,但不明顯。
SK : 在日本好多人都不會用音樂,他們只會聽一些像繩跌落榻榻米的聲音,和女仔抖氣同呻吟的聲音。但在香港或者其他西方國家,他們大多會播音樂,因為他們怕觀眾會瞓着。

SP: 哈哈哈,那當然啦,那是需要一定娛樂性的!謝謝你。你有什麼想同任何人講?
SK: 唔,那個模特兒真的好索。

<< ENG CON’T BELOW >>

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Subay Kinbaku

SPITGAN : Hey Subay, what do you do?
Subway Kinbaku : So I’m a Shibari artist in Hong Kong and I also consider myself a performer, and an educator. I started hosting events about Shibari around 2 years ago. I started a studio a year ago dedicated to Shibari because it was very difficult to find a venue to host those events. I also perform in Hong Kong and internationally. Most of the events in HK I host are mainly shows and workshops. What I really want to do is educate more than getting famous. Recently, I decided to retire from hosting events, and now will only focus on commercial projects, which I can explain later.

SP : Why are you retiring? That is news to me.
SK : I feel like I have spent a lot of time and effort in the past 2 years trying to educate people in the community and even people outside the community. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s very hard to change people’s perceptions, and I’m starting to find it very frustrating. Within the circle there is too much drama. People trying to use this art as a way to get famous, to get attention. I feel that it’s distorting the art itself. To me Shibari is not about just the physical form, or the two people’s connection. More importantly it’s about one’s mind and attitude. I think being humble is very important, and that’s what I learned in Japan, taking Shibari classes. In a way it’s like martial arts. You should have a very pure heart when practicing Shibari and I feel that a lot of people don’t. It’s starting to really gross me out.

SP : Do you feel that attitude is unique to Hong Kong or is pervasive everywhere?
SK : I think it’s a problem in many countries. Just that in HK the crowd is not as educated. The ratio of people who understand Shibari compared to those who think they understand but don’t is not very balanced.

SP : What got you interested in Shibari?
SK : I discovered Shibari four years ago because of BDSM. Lol. I was really bored four years ago, so I started going online and I found some gatherings for BDSM people…

SP : Hold up. Break down what is BDSM.
SK : Ah! It stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sado-masachism. So first I was just interested in BDSM and I had never heard about ropes and never heard about bondage. I would say more like handcuffs, leather stuff. At a meeting I met a couple very interested in Shibari, so I started to be their Shibari model. I started tying was because of an incident. There was someone from America teaching a workshop on ropes in HK, and I was very interested in being tied by him. So I approach him and asked if he would be interested in tying me. He said something really mean like, “your not pretty, your not skinny. I’m not attracted to you why should I tie you?” I was upset and it made me want to learn Shibari because first, I wanted to tie myself up, and second, I wanted to be able to tell others that Shibari doesn’t have to be full of ego. That’s why when I first started to do Shibari I did a lot of self suspensions. I travelled to the US and the Uk and attended some events but I really started to learn when I went to Japan and took some classes.

SP : Was that important to you? To go to Japan and learn from a Japanese person?
SK : Yes. It’s very different. When you learn Shibari in the West, they focus a lot on safety and the form. How to do a tie. In Japan, they don’t really care about that. They care about how you use the ropes to achieve the connection.

SP : Ah interesting. There are actually different focus points depending where you are at.
SK : Actually, now people in the West are starting to understand the importance of connecting in the Japanese way. They are trying to include more elements in the education as well.

SP : So that wasn’t a very big part of the style in the West?
SK : I would say not. For example now in London and Paris, some of the bigger cities, they have a bigger crowd. A lot of people have gone to Japan and they will bring the elements back to their home country. In a lot of other places they still don’t have the influence, so they either do the more fusion style of Shibari or the entirely western style where they use some ropes to weave the lingerie.

SP : Right like kinda just the visual part of it. Interesting. Would you say Shibari is about sex and sexual pleasure?
SK : Hmmm. I would say there are many different aspects to Shibari. I would not say that Shibari cannot be about sex and sexual pleasure. I would say these two are also different. It doesn’t always have to involve sexual intercourse. It can, but even without there is no problem. Put it this way. I would say that Shibari is erotic. Eroticism is the basis of Shibari if you talk about it from the Japanese way. A lot of people think that to do Shibari you are really bringing out the Eros of the girl. You are using ropes to show her beautiful side. In body and in mind. Some might say it has to be sexual, erotic, some people just want the connections and intimacy between friends. Some people do it for BDSM, they want the pain and the torture. Some people want to surrender and they feel like that when they are suspended and tied. Others like the exposure part of it. In Japan we call it Suginawa which means, you know in porn when you see a lot of girls, they like to be exhibitionist, so they like to show parts of their private parts? That’s what people like in Shibari too. They get partially undressed, and there’s a little bit of exposure. And some people just do it for art, performance art.

SP : So there’s a lot of what people bring to it on their own, want to get out of it. Different reasons for doing it.
SK : Yes.

SP : What is your idea of erotic?
SK : I would say erotic is…kind of subtle…As in…if you show me a girl completely naked, openly naked, I won’t find it erotic, I would find it gross and too much. Erotic is…you must give people the fantasy. So I always think that being half naked or giving people room for imagination is always more erotic. Also you need to understand the girl’s mind. For example if the girl is super shy, what would make it erotic for the audience would be to see her emotions when you are slowly undressing her. To be erotic you need to use ropes to shape the body, to shape the silhouette. A famous rope artist in Japan called Kinoko Hajime, said that you can use ropes to make a girl look thinner and to highlight her sexy parts. These are the elements that would make the thing erotic.

SP : So do you find regular sex boring?
SK : Lol. So I just got into a relationship. I think that is a good question. My boyfriend is vanilla.

SP : Wha?
SK : Vanilla. He is not into kink.

SP : Hahah. I always like slang.
SK : Lol. Regular sex. Hmmm. It depends on how you define regular sex. Cuz normal people will also have rough sex. Like I’m ok if it’s rough sex, or kinky sex. If it’s romantic sex I really cannot do.

SP : Really? But are you in a romantic relationship?
SK : To me, kink is romance. Roughness is romance.

SP : Ok ok. I see your definitions, but what is romantic sex? It’s soft?
SK : t’s very soft. Imagine him touching every inch of you very slowly for like 15 min. I would probably fall asleep.

SP : ROFL. Hahah. Cuz for me I’m down with a lot of it. Don’t know if I am overly kinky, but if it’s romantic it ain’t no thing. It’s also probably romantic because both people are into it.
SK : Well ok, like once a year.

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Jennifer wears 毛衣/sweater – Maison Margiela MM6, 短褲/panties – La Perla

SP : Because this is a Japanese style is it rare for a girl to do this?
SK : I would say in Japan, most of the people tying are girls.

SP : Wow. Really? I am assuming that traditional asian cultures are very male dominant societies.
SK : It’s different in Japan. There are a lot of professional dominatrix. I would say outside of Japan there are very few girls tying.

SP : By educating people are you trying to seperate this out of the realm of domination? BDSM? Are you comfortable accepting it as that? Or would you like Shibari to be more recongnized as an art?
SK : If you were a girl, I would say I would want to focus more on the art. I have done other interviews before and while I mention that Shibari is artistic, I mention that there are other aspects. Now I feel that people are focusing on the fact that Shibari is artistic. I feel that you are only focusing on one part and missing the other parts.

SP : Oh yeah! Sounds right. To be direct, you can’t really remove this from it’s sexual nature.
SK : Yes. Now I will just give equal weight to every part of Shibari.

SP : From our conversations before the shoot. I get the sense that photography may not be the best way to capture this full process; everything involved. You were speaking on an emotional process. Something with a beginning and an end? So maybe once you meet the person you will tie its already begun…
SK : I won’t speak on photography. Even if you are sitting there watching a show. You might not be able to capture what is in Shibari as well. I have done many shows and sometimes people say to me they don’t get it. The emotions and connections involved in a Shibari scene, is very much between the two people and it’s not always projected onto others. Sometimes when you do shows you might want to do certain things to exaggerate the emotions to bring them out more. When you are tying normally you won’t do that. That’s why if you are standing there in real life watching me tie you don’t feel it. Then it’s even more for the photographer to capture it.

SP : You prefer tying men or women?
SK : Uhhh. Girls…ha.

SP : Yeah? Why is that?
SK : Because I am a girl, I kinda feel more comfortable with girls. A lot of the guys that have approached me before have wanted to be tied for SM purpose. Also a lot of people want to be suspended by me, and I would handle a girl, more easily than a guy. A guy is usually heavier. It’s not as safe if you are heavier. If it’s not sexual, and if it’s just for the experience then I have no problem tying guys. Actually, I would say 60% of the people I tie are guys.

SP : But would you the people that come to you, whether man or woman, come to you with the same naivity? The same starting point? Or would it be that the women are like, “Oh I understand Shibari a bit more…”, or are people coming to you and saying I want you to tie me and see what is going on here. Are they more educated the women.
SK : I don’t really feel biased in that way. It’s not a gender thing.

SP : Right. I’m kinda thinking regardless of the sex you must be getting a full range of people for whatever reasons.
I like how you have told me there is a real freestyle element, an improvisational element to Shibari. Do you like this aspect?
SK : Hmmm. Sometimes you will say you like it when you can do it. Hahah. Improvising is very much needed when you do Shibari because no bodies are the same. So improvisation is not only for the form of it, being pretty, but also for practical reasons like safety etc. Sometimes you need to avoid certain parts of the body.

SP : Cuz we interview a lot of musicians in our book, and that’s a big part of music for some styles of music. Some people really embrace it.
Regarding the shoot (that accompanies this article) was there anything you were feeling about it? Was it challenging at points? Was there a high point?
SK : In the shoot I would say the difficulty was to create a strong image by tying something simple. In Shibari we say the less ropes you use the better it is.

SP : Ahhh! I see. Cool.
SK : Yup. In a fashion shoot I can use a lot of ropes to create a lot of striking images but I feel then the balance is lost. What I wanted to do was strike a balance between fashion, being classy in a way, and having some elements of Shibari art. So that was the difficult point.

SP : You mentioned that traditional Shibari is not so much about nudity? Clothing the model was something you wanted to try. Do you think that was successful?
SK : So I remember the set that we did and the props inside. I think it was interesting and good in a way because it represents what people do in Japan. They actually walk out to the street being tied.

SP : Being in ropes?! Being tied?
SK : Yeah! In ropes. They will put on a big coat and when they go to certain places without so many people they will show a little bit for exposure and exhibitionism. So I feel like its a very accurate portrait of what people do actually.

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Jennifer wears 上衣/top – La Perla, 褲子/pants – Lanvin

SP : Wow. That’s cool. I didn’t know that.
What is the feeling of being tied? ‘Cuz you have been in that position as well.
SK : Being tied is a liberation through constraint. You feel like you have lost control, that you surrender, but at the same time you feel very safe and warm, because you don’t need to think about anything else because someone is going to take care of you entirely and you can just relax. So the ropes almost feel like the arms of the person. You’re in his or her embrace.

SP : Whoa. That’s nice. Is this a process to achieve? Like did you have reservations about it the first time?
SK : This depends on how good the person is.

SP : So this is the connection part.
SK : I don’t mean just the skills of tying. A lot of people can tie many complicated patterns but there’s no emotion. Then I can have a person who only knows how to tie one hand but when he ties it, he does it with so much power, then I will really enjoy it. So it’s not about how complicated it is. It’s about the skills to engage with that person.

SP : Have you ever tied anybody that has refused it? Maybe the emotional connection was a contrast? Was almost confrontational?
SK : Yes. In August I invited a Japanese guy . His name is Ren Yagami. He tied me. The feeling I would say is fear.

SP : Was that what he was trying to achieve?
SK : Yeah. Fear and intimidation. What he thinks is, if you create fear, then you create excitement. Then the girl will keep thinking what will happen next. In turn, this will kind of open her mind to fantasy, and imagination. What supresses her.

SP : You obviously seem to be quite a student of the craft is this a rather old technique?
SK : It’s relatively new. In history people used ropes to capture prisoners. They didn’t have metal so they used ropes that are cheaper. It started as hojojutsu. You know those shows in Japan, like Kabukicho or the Japanese paintings where people sing and dance? Some one called Akechi Denki started making it an erotic art by doing it in the bathroom, making it a little bit sexual. That’s how Shibari evolved. This was about 30 or 40 years ago. That’s why a lot of people are learning about the art. It’s still developing.

SP : Who are some of the masters you like and do they each have different styles?
SK : My favorite artist is Naka Akira. He’s Japanese. His style is very about torture, Seminawa. It’s not like torture in the way that most people will think. I would describe it as beautiful suffering. That the girl is willing to take the pain for the other person, for love. What is interesting about him is, in a lot of Shibari shows you see that the two people are very close together, they’re hugging. They are giving the sense of presence. For Naka’s style, he like’s to create a certain distance. So he likes to sit far away to look at the model, to see her struggle. I feel like this distance…closes the distance, knowwhatImean? Even so the people are very far away it creates a strong bond. It makes the whole thing more powerful. So I really like his style. His style is a very old style. Its very asymetrical. In modern Shibari you see a lot of symmetrical work. A lot of shapes but he doesn’t do that.

What’s a girl I really like? There’s a girl, also Japanese called Hourai Kasumi. She’s actually a student of Naka Akira. She’s a girl and she’s a mother. Her style is very motherly. She has a background in tea ceremony and flower arrangement, so everything she does is very elegant. You see a lot of empathy in her work. Also, I really like to see girls tying, because outside of Japan the bias is that girls cannot tie.

SP : What would you say your skill level is right now?
SK : I don’t know anything.

SP : But is that the point to get to? Where you know nothing but everything?
SK : I will say I am passed the point of knowing the basics. But to really master Shibari I feel like I need to spend a lot of time in Japan. Watching different people tie. It’s not something I can learn by taking a 30 hour intensive. It has to be developed through time. Really the longer you do it the less you know about it.

SP : You think you’ve reached the point right now where you have your own style? Or your starting to develop things towards that?
SK : I actually asked people…There’s a guy who taught me in Hong Kong before. I asked him what my style is. He only tells me I am submissive, lol. I am not sure what it means but I have a feeling he says I am tying differently when I am tying with different people. I would say a major drive would be Semenawa. I like torture. I like seeing the beautiful suffering. I also like connections not in an erotic way. Yep. I am not very about domination and sexual stuff.

SP : What’s the next level for you?
SK : I will say the next level will happen after my death. You know people always get famous after their dead.

SP : WHAT?! Hahahah. That is sad…Hahahah.
SK : Lol.

SP : I purposely left that open but I wasn’t expecting that!
SK : Hahah.

SP : I was gonna follow that question up with, are you gonna make it happen in Hong Kong? But now…
SK : Hahahh.

SP : Ok but in a practical sense you mention furthering yourself, your skills, in Japan. You think you will at some point?
SK : Yeah. In the past I spent a lot of time with different Japanese artists, but what I am planning to do is I plan to stick with one teacher to really master what he does. I am planning to study with the two artists I mentioned to you.

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Jennifer wears 毛衣/sweater – Maison Margiela MM6, 短褲/panties – La Perla

SP : Oh wow cool.
SK : The girl is still a student of Naka.

SP : Is that kinda a forever thing? You will always revisit it and go back? Consult him, watch him, take different pieces everytime?
SK : Yeah it’s a long relationship. You can also switch to other teachers but I don’t think many people will do that. Some Japanese guys really value loyalty. Also once you establish that relationship and you feel like you understand it, and you feel the same about it, you won’t change.

SP : That must be pretty amazing. When did this happen? You just approached them? These people are some people you really admire. Is that a hard process? I am sure this guy gets approached by many people going can I learn from you, no?
SK : Yeah it’s just like making friends. From the conversation you can just tell how much you like that person, and about the similarities that you two have. When I took classes with Naka-san, the first hour we just spent it chatting instead of tying, ‘cuz we both wanted to understand more about each other. That’s when I felt he would be a really good teacher for me.

SP : So you pretty good at reading people?
SK : Mmmm…maybe?

SP : Such a vague answer. Haha. Have you ever worked with musicians?
SK : Would you consider a pop star a musician? Hahah.

SP : I guess so. Maybe more like have you ever been approached to interpret what you do to music?
SK : No I don’t really want to, or plan for a link with music. It’s more like seperate. I have been approached by someone who asked me if I would want to include Shibari in a pop star concert. It’s Leon Lai. It’s seperate though. You’re just kinda doing it for the “Wow” factor.

SP : Leon Lai. Did he want you to tie him in public?
SK : Hahah. No way.

SP : That would make you famous before you were dead.
SK : That would be scary.

SP : Can you give us 3 names of people you would like to collaborate with?
SK : Hmm. I would say I would like to collaborate with Pride Parade Hong Kong for LGBT people. I wouldn’t say kinky or shibari people are necessarily with LGBT people but I still consider us as the sexual minority. If you see in Taiwan, at the Pride Parade, you also see the BDSM people coming out. So I am hoping they can include us in the Pride Parade. In a major way.

Second, I’ve always wanted to co-operate with Joyce Cheng. She talks a lot about body image. She’s kinda chubby. A lot of people criticize her like, “O you’re too fat” or something. I want to use Shibari to show people that being bigger doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean that you cannot be tied, it doesn’t mean that your lazy, it doesn’t mean anything. I kinda wanna use Shibari to portray this body image thing. The third would be I want to have a project with music and dance.

SP : I just asked you that! You just said you didn’t want to do nothing like that!
SK : Nooo. A guy approached me, you know that show “House of Dancing Water”? That kind. Where it’s like bigger and it reaches more of the general public. I think that would be quite interesting.

SP : Did ya’ll brainstorm on that? That might involve you tying numerous people? Or…
SK : Thinking it would take the approach more of a musical, with a story, instead of music scattered around and not connected. Music, dance, Shibari.

SP : Is there music involved? I notice when you were tying, we were playing music in the background but it wasn’t up front.
SK : In Japan lots of people tie without music. They just like to hear the ropes fall on to the tatami and the sound of it. The breathing and the moaning of the girl. In Hong Kong or western countries they are always playing music at shows because they are worried that people will fall asleep.

SP : Hahah. Yeah of course, need that entertainment factor!
Well cool. Thank you. is there anything else you wanna say to anyone?
SK : Um the model was hot.

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