My Body My Rights: Tokyo-based artist joins campaign

The images are striking. A woman holds the key to her own body; another woman’s wrist disappears, gives way to a blister pack of contraceptive pills; a pile of books are embedded in a man’s back.

These are some of the illustrations painted on real bodies by Tokyo-based artist Hikaru Cho to kick-start “My Body My Rights”, Amnesty International’s new global campaign on sexual and reproductive rights.

Hikaru Cho designed each “hyperreal” painting specifically to represent a human right denied to thousands across the world.

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“You have the right to choose who you love, who you have sex with and what kind of family you want to create, decide if and when to have children, to learn about sex and relationships, have access to healthcare, and to live free from rape and sexual violence. I hope my art can help young people across the world start a conversation about those rights,” said Hikaru Cho.

The 20-year-old artist became an internet sensation in 2013 under her nickname ‘Choo-San’ for her “hyperreal” body art. Based in Japan, Hikaru is currently a second-year student of Visual Communication and Design at Musashino Art University in Tokyo.

“We chose to work with Hikaru as we all loved her unique approach to art. Many of the images are deliberately left open to interpretation – we wanted to avoid being too literal and encourage debate amongst people,” said Madhu Malhotra, Director of Amnesty International’s Gender, Sexuality and Identity programme.

Amnesty International’s ‘My Body My Rights’ campaign seeks to defend sexual and reproductive rights for all.