Paul Binnie, Dragon and Demon Tattoo

Original Japanese woodblock print.
Paul Binnie, Dragon and Demon Tattoo
Paul Binnie, Dragon and Demon Tattoo Paul Binnie, Dragon and Demon Tattoo

Artist: Paul Binnie (1967-)
Title: Dragon and Demon (Ryu ni Oni)
Edition: 20/100
Published: by the artist
Date: 1997
Condition: Some marks and light stains on the margins.
Size: 42.6 × 29.9 cm

For this design, Paul Binnie used a model who had the actual tattoo seen in this print. Often he would add a tattoo to an otherwise uninked model, such as his use of images derived from ukiyo-e artists' prints in his series 'Edo zumi hyaku shoku' (One Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo). However, in this case, the 'Dragon and Demon' tattoo was a real one. The man depicted is wearing a fundoshi, a male loincloth that is now mainly worn on specific, traditional occasions such as matsuri (festivals).

Paul Binnie

Blending traditional methods with a modern style, Paul Binnie’s work is heavily influenced by the Shin-hanga movement, founded by the publisher Shozaburo Watanabe (1885-1962). Shozaburo aimed 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, Binnie works independently, making prints from beginning to the end, as was done by artists of the post-war Sosaku hanga movement. He works across several different subjects including kabuki, tattoo, landscape and beauty prints. Binnie’s original plan of a short stay in Japan changed once he started to sell his kabuki prints. He decided to expand his technique and remained in Japan creating works of this subject until 1998. 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). Near the end of 1997, he began to expand into Japanese landscape prints, which became a huge success.

More Information
Print FormatDai-Oban
ArtistPaul Binnie
SubjectSamurai & Male, Tattoo Design, Contemporary
Dimensions42.6 × 29.9 cm
PublisherSelf Published