Paul Binnie, A Modern Girl of 1920, Flowers of a Hundred Years

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Paul Binnie (1967-)
Title: A Modern Girl of 1920 (36/100)
Series: Flowers of a Hundred Years
Date: 2013
Dimensions: 32.8 x 47 cm
Condition: Very good.

The Japanese title Moga, is a contraction of the first two syllables of the two words of the phrase; i.e. modan (modern) and garu (girl). Moga were a cultural phenomenon similar to flappers in the West, young women who escaped from the paternalism and family controls of previous decades and did many things the older generations found shocking. They cut their hair into shorter styles, wore western-style clothes, smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol – such as the Manhattan cocktails we see here – while dancing or flirting with young men (hence two cocktails), things we might take for granted today, but which were a complete break with expectations of more traditional Japanese society. The 1920s were an economic boom period, and young women could have jobs that gave them freedom to live their lives away from controls and restrictions imposed by their parents’ generation. A flood of images and ideas from the West entered Japan between the wars, and the colour scheme of this design reflects the red, white and blue of the USA, Britain and France, all countries Moga were fascinated by.

The printing is lavish, and as well as 47 colour and bokashi (shading) printings, it employs mica, embossing, silver metallic pigment and 23-carat gold leaf.

More Information
Print Format Dai-Oban
Artist Name Paul Binnie
Title A Modern Girl of 1920 (36/100)
Subject Beauty & Female, Contemporary
Dimensions 32.8 x 47 cm
Condition Report Very good.