Topology in Bed1

Regarding the Education of Love

Father’s Topology in Bed






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Topology in bed is a collaborative work of the editor and her father, Chi Tsai Ni. Back in the days when the editor, Son Ni, was still going to primary school, she would always find different forms of “blanket sculptures” on her parents’ bed when returning home from school every day. Only when she became adult did she realize the interesting implication behind. She then requested her father to re-create these sculptures and invited the photographer Etang Chen to their place for a shooting, and had them published in a book. The father, in fact, refused to admit them as erotic signals he left for his wife until the actual day of shooting.

The father was a typical breadwinner of the family with no particular background in art. Although he never treated his blanket sculptures work as art pieces, he showed such insistence and precision in setting them up. Tracing back from her memory, the editor remembers how her father was the last one to leave home and come back. He simply made use of his private time in the morning to create such joyful moments.

Flattening the blanket is her mother’s euphemistic way of turning down her father’s wish; when seeing his sculpture remained intact, he would discreetly cheer for himself as he could not explicitly express such yearning and joy when having a young daughter at home. The sculpture later developed into a little thing to delight everyday life; rather than necessarily being an implication of sex, it could be simply an expression of his affection for her.

The first time the father saw “blanket art” was when he traveled with his friends in his younger days and was lodged, by mistake, in a love motel. It is a unique culture of love motel to have blankets folded into a shape that carries a hint of sex to bring to the lodgers some pleasant surprises. In the motel in Wanhua District, Taipei, which was opened back in Minguo 53 (1964), a skillful and experienced female employee does all the blanket art for every room in the motel.

Taking things for granted is not the way to maintain a relationship; even if the relationship is long and stable, the father never ceases to bring to his wife some playful happiness. Perhaps this is the most vivid way of expressing love.

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