Last month, an artist was arrested for violating Japanese obscenity laws for distributing 3D printer “blueprints” for a vagina-shaped kayak. Now, artistic photographs showing male genitalia are facing similar problems with the law.

Officials at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in Nagoya modified an exhibit featuring male nudes that law enforcement deemed obscene the day before the exhibition was launched.

The 12 photographs by Ryudai Takano were requested to be removed from the “Photography Will Be” exhibition, since it featured male genitalia. After consulting the artist, they came to an agreement that the photographs would not be completely removed but that transparent paper panels would be placed on top of the areas considered illegal—in some cases, this means that the entire postcard-sized image is covered. To further protect the general public, the exhibition put up curtains and security guards around the work (link in Japanese), keeping in mind that underage students might be attending the show.

The artist said that his contribution to the exhibition, which displays 150 works by nine photographers and artists, “represents the delicateness of the sense of distance between people” and that it is not a violent representation.

—Mona Neuhauss

Main image: Freebies Gallery