Naked models become living art

A model at the Daegu International Bodypainting Festival in South Korea.
A model at the Daegu International Bodypainting Festival in South Korea.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

DAEGU (South Korea)• The bodies of dozens of female models were turned into living canvases at a festival in South Korea last weekend, with delicate brush strokes and flamboyant illustrations covering their bare skin.

Near-naked women - wearing only panties and strategically placed pieces of tape on their breasts - packed the 2017 Daegu International Bodypainting Festival, surrounded by teams of artists and onlookers.

Top artists from across the world took part in the event in the South Korean south-eastern city, as their female subjects strutted across the stage in high heels and exotic headdresses to display their dazzling body art before the cameras.

"I've never been naked anywhere but around my husband," American participant Neome Mullenberg said as artists, equipped with spray paint and brushes, diligently worked on her body.

"The weirdest part is that I feel like I'm fully clothed," she said, adding that the camera flashes and gazes from strangers did not bother her. "It's amazing how paint can make you feel like you're clothed."

In just six hours, the models were turned into walking works of art as they strutted down an open air stage in front of hundreds of spectators.

One model was transformed into an elegant blue and green peacock, while another looked as if she had just popped out of a fantasy novel, adorned with a pharaoh-like headpiece and with images of Greek gods on her body.

Italian artist Anna Chapovalov said recommendations from her colleagues and photos from previous events were enough to get her to jump on a plane from Austin, Texas, for this year's festival.

"I loved how the event was organised. It's worth it," she said.

The artists, who competed for cash prizes, were judged on a range of criteria, including the use of colour, painting techniques and originality.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline 'Naked models become living art'. Print Edition | Subscribe