Paul Binnie, Ushiwakamaru and Benkei


Artist: Paul Binnie (1967 – )
Title: Ushiwakamaru and Benkei
Edition: 37/50
Published: by the artist
Date: 2015
Size: 28.5 x 40.2 cm

Original woodblock print.

In this print, Paul Binnie used an actual model and the tattoo on his chest is imagined, loosely based on the story of Ushiwakamaru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune), a general of the late Heian period. The model is holding a short sword in a similar pose to Ushiwakamaru in the tattoo. Yoshitsune has become a legendary hero in Japan for his countless military exploits recounted in the Japanese epic 'The Tale of Heike'.

The edition number is written in pencil on the bottom margin 37/50, signed Paul Binnie also in pencil and embossed Binnie.

Paul Binnie

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
SubjectSamurai & Male, Tattoo Design, Contemporary
Dimensions28.5 x 40.2 cm
Condition ReportExcellent condition.