Drawing the line between artistic and obscene

It is perplexing when pictures of nudity and sex are praised as artistic by some people, but condemned as obscene and pornographic by others (Esplanade pulls out artwork after 'obscenity' complaints; June 7).

Sometimes, the distinction between art and pornography is contentious. It seems like it depends on who the artist is and where the work is displayed.

If even adults can't tell the difference between art and obscene content, then how can children do so?

There is a tendency for some to say that children will see sex, nudity and worse on the Internet anyway.

This should in no way misguide children into thinking they are looking at art when they wander into pornographic sites.

When a piece of work is questionable, it is best to place it in a closed gallery. Children can have access to it under the guidance of an adult who can explain the piece.

Although the Internet has much worse materials, in the real world, what is acceptable and what is not should be made clear and reinforced.

Grace Chua Siew Hwee (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2018, with the headline 'Drawing the line between artistic and obscene'. Print Edition | Subscribe