Paul Binnie, Kiyonaga's Pipe, One Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo

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Artist: Paul Binnie (1967-)
Title: Kiyonaga's Pipe (Kiyonaga no kiseru)
Edition: 39/100
Series: One Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo
Published: by the artist
Date: 2010
Size: 43 x 30.5 cm

Original woodblock print.

'Kiyonaga’s Pipe' plays with the basic blocks of Tasogare (Twilight) and adds a motif taken from a triptych design by Torii Kiyonaga of the later 18th century. The original print shows a group of beauties enjoying a spring snowfall, and the central figure reaches up with her long bamboo pipe to the newly formed icicles hanging from the eaves to knock them off. Here it is as if the tattoo is reaching up to the long silver earring of the model, printed with silver, to tap it with her pipe. Pipes appear on the floor cushion and as the seal, and of course in the cartouche too, while the baren sujizuri background in swirling, shaded black and grey is shared with all the designs of the Edo Zumi series.

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
SubjectBeauty & Female, Tattoo Design, Contemporary
Dimensions43 x 30.5 cm
Condition ReportExcellent.