Amnesty International has teamed up with acclaimed Tokyo-based artist Hikaru Cho to kickstart its global campaign ‘My Body My Rights’ on sexual and reproductive rights, which launches today.
The two-year campaign will launch with a series of Hikaru’s striking and sometimes surreal images; all painted directly onto the body of participating models to create a lifelike 3D effect.
Hikaru became an internet sensation in 2013 under her nickname ‘Choo-San’ for her ‘hyper-real’ body art, which has featured widely in both British and international media. The 20-year-old Chinese born artist is currently a second-year student at Musashino Art University in Tokyo majoring in Visual Communication and Design.
Each of the original designs used to launch the campaign illustrates a different ‘body right’ and were conceived following a brief from Amnesty International. These include the following: you have the right to live free from rape and sexual violence; you have the right to choose your partner; you have the right to know and learn about your body, sexual health and relationships, and you have the right to choose if, or when, you have children.
"We should all be able to enjoy the right to make decisions about our own health, body, sexual life and identity without fear, coercion or discrimination. But all over the world, people are denied the right to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive lives. People around the world want to see this change," said Madhu Malhotra, Director of Amnesty International’s Gender, Sexuality and Identity programme.
"We chose to work with Hikaru as we all loved her unique approach to art. She was ideal for the campaign and able to address serious issues in a way that both informs and entertains. Many of the images are deliberately left open to interpretation – we wanted to avoid being too literal and encourage debate amongst a younger audience."
Amnesty International’s ‘My Body My Rights’ campaign seeks to empower people to claim and exercise their rights so that every person can make free and informed choices about their sexuality and reproduction and can exercise their sexual and reproductive rights free from discrimination, coercion and violence. Watch the video below to see a behind the scenes insight.