Paul Binnie, Beauty, Hagoromo, Feathered Robe, Contemporary Art


Artist: Paul Binnie (1967 - )
Title: Hagoromo (The Feathered Robe)
Edition: 37/100
Published: by the artist
Date: 2017
Size: 47.5 × 33.7 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

In the Noh play Hagoromo (The Feather Mantle), a fisherman is walking with his companions at night when he finds the Hagoromo, the magical feather-mantle of a tennin (an aerial spirit or celestial dancer) hanging on a bough. The tennin sees him taking it and demands its return, as she cannot return to Heaven without it. The fisherman finally promises to return it if she will agree to show him her dance. She accepts his offer, then after her dance, the tennin disappears like a mountain slowly hidden in mist.

In the Hagoromo print, a beautiful young woman is pulling on a hanten (outer robe) of pale teal with deeply embossed feathers, and her green kimono itself is decorated with silver peacock feathers. The allusion here is that the bijin (beautiful woman) is a heavenly creature, perhaps retrieving her feathered robe, and destined to vanish from view as she exits the image.

Paul Binnie (1967 - )

Blending traditional methods with a modern style, Paul Binnie is working mostly under the influence of Shin-hanga movement, founded by the publisher Shozaburo Watanabe (1885-1962). Shozaburo was aiming to renew declining Ukiyo-e tradition and break into foreign markets by commissioning new, young artists who would work within the old co-operated system, composed of the publisher, artist, engraver and printers. However, Paul makes his own prints from beginning to the end by himself, as was done by artists of another post-war movement: Sosaku hanga.

He mostly works in several subjects such as kabuki, tattoo, landscape and beauty prints. His original plan had been to stay in Japan less than he actually did but once he started to sell his kabuki prints, he decided to expand his technique more and has created works of this subject until 1998 in Japan. His interest in Japanese tattoo was born when he saw Yakuza, members of the Japanese mafia who traditionally have body tattoos, bathing for the first time in a sento (Japanese-style public bath). He is still working on a series of woodblock prints of this theme. Near the end of 1997, he began to do Japanese landscape prints and these became a huge success.

More Information
Print FormatDai-Oban
ArtistPaul Binnie (1967 - )
SubjectBeauty & Female, Ghosts & Religion, Contemporary
Size47.5 × 33.7 cm
Condition ReportExcellent.
publisherSelf Published:1000-3000