East Asian Politics Understood Through Naked Girls


Recent events have prompted Chinese to re-examine the artwork shown above – not for its rather tasteful depiction of naked young girls, but instead for its hidden allegorical subtext, showing as it does with some clarity the power struggle over the future of Taiwan and the wider East Asian region.

The work, by Toronto-based Chinese artist Liu Yi, generally goes by its English title of “The 2008 Beijing Mahjong Game.”

First exhibited in 2005 in anticipation of the 2008 Olympics, the piece has over the years been subject to a wide variety of searching interpretations – the latest coming from Chinese left pondering it in light of recent developments.

A reasonable interpretation is translated below:

Firstly, the girl wearing a traditional article of Chinese lingerie with her hand in a fruit bowl represents Taiwan.

The four mahjong players also represent countries – America faces the viewer, and opposite her is China. To the right, the reclining girl is Russia, and to the left, naked and scrutinising her tiles, is Japan.

The image depicts the situation facing Taiwan, but Taiwan herself is not at the table. Only the four players of America, China, Japan and Russia will determine the outcome of this game. The skies beyond the window are dark and unsettled, as is the current situation.

The clothing the four girls at the table are wearing expresses their respective strengths. America is in a strong position, and confidently watches Taiwan for a chance to strike without being overly concerned about the state of the game.

Russia lies languidly with one leg resting on America, and an arm outstretched to China, stealthily assisting China with her concealed tiles. But Russia has no interest in Taiwan, and her tiles are not strong. She is only interested in exploiting the Taiwan situation to her advantage, sympathising with America whilst selling weapons to China.

China herself is half-naked, much of her body obscured from view by the table, preventing anyone from seeing how strong she is. One of her tiles is “East,” representing the DF-31 “East Wind” long range missile (ICBM). China also keeps some of her tiles hidden behind her, ready for any change in the game. Just how strong she really is, who can say.

On the left, the naked girl is Japan. She has no clothes at all – she is the weakest of the four. She scrutinizes her tiles intently, completely oblivious to the artful tricks the other players are employing. Japan only conceives of the Taiwan issue in terms of how she can gain regional power – she is blind to the global aspect of the game. Whilst she may have a good hand, little does she realize the game will not be won through tiles alone.

On China’s shoulder is a tattoo – the Fenghuang, or “Chinese phoenix.” This signifies the fact that in China traditional culture runs only skin deep – she is otherwise just the same as the west. On the contrary, it is Taiwan, with her traditional attire, who is the real heir to Chinese culture.

Taiwan holds a fruit knife, but it is of no use in a game of mahjong and she cannot bring it to bear. All she can do is hold onto her fruit as the game plays out.

Let it not be said that looking at pictures of naked girls cannot be educational.

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    Avatar of DmonHiro
    Comment by DmonHiro
    07:54 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Isn't this just strip mahhong at a club where the 4 girls just ordered a fruit basket and the waitress came and brought one?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:11 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    i see 4 whore playing strip majhong
    and a cutie holding fruits.

    analysis of the analysis:

    china is playing the "keikaku doori" thing while trying to say "i can be EVEN bitchier than i already am,don't mess with me! oh and i hate japan,LOL weakling!"

    japan "how can i win without making everyone angry....gah!i lost!?"

    america: "i'm so strong it hurts...."

    russia :" *snoring*.......

    taiwan: "can i stab those bitches?no? damn...."

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    11:15 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i wonder if "china" is waiting to play it's "rising sun" technique?

    Avatar of giascle
    Comment by giascle
    07:32 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Some of these points are just way too contrived.

    "One of her tiles is “East,” representing the DF-31 “East Wind” long range missile (ICBM)."


    Comment by Anonymous
    19:09 20/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The East tiles represent Eastern Wind though....

    It's really not that much of a stretch, and the fact she has an open hand with a East Pon can't possibly just be a coincidence, anyhow.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:27 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well since she probably has a pon of the east winds, they would be pointing at one of the player she took it form. if she took it form america, the middle tile would be in side ways,but it is not. so it indicates that it can be pointed AT the US or to everyone for there is no indication of who. Or they're playing something other than japanese mahjong....

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:50 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Since the artist was Chinese, I presume they are playing with a Chinese ruleset.

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    07:44 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was surprised by the sensibility of the interpretations offered. That one was one of the weakest, though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:13 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I liked the Chinese being like the West with the skin deep culture. Notice she also has the tramp stamp.

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    08:38 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I also noticed China's underhanded cheating tactics.

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    09:33 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Russia is sleeping and still did not loose all clothes. I guess the others just suck at mahjong.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:14 06/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    How about America?
    There is no way to win against cheater without cheat. And in the picture, America is fully clothed(never lose) against the cheater. So you can see who is the biggest cheater.

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    00:15 07/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Maybe Russia wants some hot yuri action with USA. We want it, too. :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:49 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Like Schrobby said: sometimes a mahjong tile is just a mahjong tile...

    Avatar of PewPewPew!
    Comment by PewPewPew!
    13:45 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Schrobby, it also seems like Russia is either playfully kicking USA's thigh or just plain resting her foot on it.Can't help but notice that Russia is lazy or bored in the game.

    Avatar of MasterX25
    Comment by MasterX25
    09:09 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    lol you wouldn't expect the america, russia, japan to cheat when they have the chance?
    In war, the cheaters wins(well have higher chance), cause war is all about winning, sure there is different ways to win a war, but winning is highest priority.

    Avatar of Domo-Kun
    Comment by Domo-Kun
    08:09 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, isn't it possible that the artist offered those explanations, including the tile=missile thing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:47 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    In mahjong, calling the east winds usually informs the other players that your hand is progressing.

    Under the right circumstances, it can allow you to form close to yakuman level hands if the player is competent enough.

    Even if the player is not that skilled, it is still a pretty big advantage in most cases.

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    08:03 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who cares about ICMB if Taiwan has such a nice DFC?

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:48 28/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just press the red button!

    Comment by Anonymous

    Oh, you should care. ICBMs being vehicles for nuclear warheads will kill your beloved 'DFCs'.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:29 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    US have more ICBMs

    Avatar of Tomoya-san
    Comment by Tomoya-san
    07:33 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    One image,long story.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:37 06/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.8)

    they do say pictures are worth a thousand words...

    Avatar of Psychosomatic
    Comment by Psychosomatic
    07:42 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Does it still count when all thousand words are synonyms for breasts?

    Comment by ogaOa3GY7A
    08:09 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Great, now I can fap to international politics. Feels so high-minded now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:44 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    And that's when cultured fappers were born...

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    08:15 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    So Russia is a relaxed girl of loose morals lying around almost naked with closed eyes waiting for someone to do her? Cool.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:06 06/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Just add vodka.

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    15:37 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Woah, finally the "In Soviet Russia" law didn't work this time :3

    Avatar of Bla7e
    Comment by Bla7e
    03:03 07/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @MaidNiac: nope. In Soviet Russia politics fap to you.

    ... Somehow this doesn't sound right.

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    09:33 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "hey Russia i'll do ya!"

    Avatar of DP
    Comment by DP
    12:03 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    'Aren´t Russian girls like that?

    Avatar of Psychosomatic
    Comment by Psychosomatic
    07:37 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Well....my brain fried from the bit of....education? It is an interesting perspective, to say the least. But meh, why think about things too deep when there are ta-ta's a-danglin'.

    Avatar of moqadmodar
    Comment by moqadmodar
    07:25 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    fap fap fap fap

    Avatar of Risui
    Comment by Risui
    08:08 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    When naked girls meet art and international affairs it's an special fap you're conducting sir, litle are there cases when such combine as good as this one.

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    08:12 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    Bukkake them all and cause an international incident. ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:31 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    don't or your country wont win Miss World

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    08:46 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    But your country gains a Nobel Prize instead.

    Avatar of denn
    Comment by denn
    08:19 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    And in steps Kim Jong Il...

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    11:00 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    And that's why we fap without care. ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous

    But countries does not matter... We are on the internet.

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    07:56 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Life action Saki? Fuck yeah! ^_^

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    12:38 06/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Damn. That's some deep thinking. All I was thinking was how cute "taiwan" over there seemed.

    Avatar of Crim
    Comment by Crim
    02:31 07/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    "China also keeps some of her tiles hidden behind her, ready for any change in the game"

    A more accurate description would be

    "China will happily lie and cheat in order to win"

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:39 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I thought she looked like the 3DPD of the picture.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Life action Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku without politicians? Fuck yeah! ^_^


    Avatar of Aliaus
    Comment by Aliaus
    09:33 06/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    let me also analyze this art piece.....in private.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:37 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    scrutinizing with too many liberties. and it was too specific.
    'One of her tiles is “East,” representing the DF-31 “East Wind” long range missile.'

    Avatar of TNinja
    Comment by TNinja
    09:57 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I like the description about China. Ohoho.

    Avatar of TransistorGlamor
    Comment by TransistorGlamor
    06:09 09/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The East tiles represent Eastern Wind though....

    It's really not that much of a stretch, and the fact she has an open hand with a East Pon can't possibly just be a coincidence, anyhow.

    Even if the interpretation were wrong, there's no doubt the choice of tile has some significance, especially if you're going to go with a National Relations angle of interpretation.

    Avatar of Lune Ciel
    Comment by Lune Ciel
    19:42 10/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think the tiles in the table matter. Most combinations of tiles could be matched with one or another aspect of Chinese/Russian politics.

    However, the faces of the depicted girls do match the description, as well as the haircut (in case of the Chinese girl), and even the fact that Taiwan is the youngest nation in the group.

    The interesting thing about this is that, being written by a Chinese, it can't help but brag about their country and defame Japan.

    Avatar of Klingengeist
    Comment by Klingengeist
    04:27 07/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They should ask the creator instead of guessing what he tried to express. After all he's still alive, isnt he?

    Or is this some sort of guessing game? I draw a picture and you have to guess what my thoughts were while drawing. ^^

    Avatar of TNinja
    Comment by TNinja
    05:00 07/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    My thoughts are easily guessed through loli drawings.

    Avatar of Kwonnie
    Comment by Kwonnie
    07:23 07/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Anon 9:37

    Agreed; that was a bit of a stretch...

    Comment by Anonymous

    So either, you're saying everyone should gang up against china for playing dirty, or you might have gotten the countries wrong, because china does not have any tricks up their sleeve. USA seems to have sleeves tho', perhaps there's something hidden!? :O

    In any case, is it OK if I fap to this?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:18 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Hmmm... the artist could have drawn the girls clothed and still achieved the same relative effect, but... he didn't.....

    I like this guy's style :)

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    20:01 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    To quote Namiko from Geijutsuka, the artist was just using "art" as an excuse to draw nakky girls :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:31 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That's a really excellent painting. The whole message in it is awesome.

    I'm so tempted to print it out as my room's decoration. X3

    As Dr. Bean once said, 'I sit and look at the paintings.'

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    05:00 07/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    *draws a similar picture of naked girls*

    Let me analize it: The girl on the right, positioned in doggy-style, is China. The girl on the left, inserting a huge strapon dildo in the right's girl ass is Japan. And that silhoutte of Pedobear reflected in the window represents the whole world (except for china) fapping on chinese misery.

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    15:16 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Gay Test: If the first thing you do when you see this pic is talking/thinking about the subliminal political message, I have bad news for you..

    Avatar of Kwonnie
    Comment by Kwonnie
    07:24 07/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of MasterYuke
    Comment by MasterYuke
    09:36 06/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ohhhhhhh yeeeeaaaaaah....

    Comment by Anonymous

    I bet the Japanese girl was thinking, 'Keikaku doori!'

    (Just as planned)

    Comment by Anonymous

    The artwork shown above depicting 5 girls spending their time (playing scrabble, chatting, and eating some fruits) while waiting their master (me) to come home and fuck them...

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