The Rebirth of a Snake Woman

The indignities of womanhood

Pei-yu in Taiwan sent me this postcard, purchased during a trip to Japan, of a 2001 work by artist Chiho Aoshima, in which a girl goes through various unlikely steps toward rebirth as a snake woman. The level of detail is certainly amazing.

Here’s the thing that I don’t understand: the postcard describes the medium of this work as “inkjet print on paper” — which would seem to imply that the work was produced digitally. The artist printed it at 100 x 140 cm (about 40 x 56 inches), which somehow is considered the “original”; it was sold at auction in 2008 for about $39,000.

My question for your art-lovers out there: apart from the size, what makes the “original” print more valuable than this postcard, which was doubtless produced from the same digital creation?

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