Siew-Wai Kok (exhibition)
Artist: Siew-Wai Kok
Date of Action: June 2001
Region: North America
Location: Buffalo, New York
Confronting Bodies: New York State government officials and police
Description of Artwork: Kok presented an exhibition of her own art at the annual Artists and Models Affair event. Within the exhibition existed two video artworks featuring nude women. The videos were black and white and focus predominantly on the midsections of the women's bodies.
The Incident: During the Artists and Models Affair fundraising event, Buffalo police officers forced the organizers to unplug the two video artworks which contained nudity. The police officers did this in response to an anonymous call from a citizen who called the work inappropriate and pornographic. The police said that they shut down the showing of the piece because the event was open to people of all ages, so there was no way of guarding minors from the provocative content.
Results of Incident: This incident is part of a larger movement by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to cut funding for controversial art exhibits. Many of the attendees were bothered by this censorship, but understood the complications that arise when young children are exposed to controversial art which contains nudity.