These Playful Watercolor Paintings Update the Kama Sutra for 2018

“I found it only natural to include some homosexual and queer couples in my book—because, well, it’s 2018! I wanted my book to be colorful in every sense."
August 28, 2018, 3:13pm
Images courtesy Bianca Tschaikner

Austrian artist Bianca Tschaikner has painted a very 2018 take on the Kama Sutra in the form of 34 bouncy, bendy watercolor paintings of sex positions inspired by the ancient Indian guide to gettin’ down.

Known for her illustrated travelogue through Iran and India, SAVARI, the 32-year-old adds a whole new catalog of positions for today’s intersectional buffet of gender and sexuality in MINISUTRA. The original text acknowledges homosexual sex between men—but nevertheless has been used to condemn homosexuality in some Hindu communities. Tschaikner’s addendum to the visual archive of doin’ it, on the other hand, is fiercely queer. “I found it only natural to include some homosexual and queer couples in my book—because, well, it’s 2018! I wanted my book to be colorful in every sense,” she told VICE in an email.

MINISUTRA includes a humorous reinterpretation of existing sex positions from its namesake with deep purple, glowing pink, and shining yellow pigment. But Tschaikner said she mixed in a bunch of modern kinky contortions as a continuation of, “the spirit of pre colonial Indian sexual culture one encounters in ancient Indian art and Sanskrit poetry. These works convey a really playful, almost innocent sexuality, which is really joyful, sensual and holistic, and also often very tongue-in-cheek, which I find a beautiful approach to sex. It’s an approach which unfortunately seems rather rare nowadays.”

Tschaikner crowdfunded MINISUTRA after her community responded positively to playful erotic forms she posted to Facebook. She was visiting Edinburgh during a particularly gloomy season in 2016, and channeled her excitement about an upcoming winter holiday in India into the series. “I was really counting the minutes to move to a sunnier place,” she said. She began posting daily illustrations to social media as an “erotic advent calendar” on December 1.


Since she was making one painting a day, the figures were also frequently influenced by timely events, like the Austrian presidential election or Christmas. “The one with the ice skates I published on the day of a horrible terror attack, the Berlin truck attack of December 19th after an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks in Europe,” Tschaikner said. The caption was, "The best antidote to those who hate (our way of) life is, of course, even more love and celebration of life."

Check out some exclusive artwork from MINISUTRA below.

MINISUTRA is available now on Bianca Tschaikner’s website.

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