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This gallery of Japanese tattoos presents original woodblock prints created by Paul Binnie, born 1967. The artist was born in Scotland. In 1993 he came to Tokyo and remained for nearly 6 years. Paul created his first tattoo prints during these Tokyo years under the guidance of master printer Seki Kenji.
The description text is mostly taken from the official announcements by Paul Binnie, either unchanged (when in apostrophe) or slightly edited by artelino
First Publication: February 2007
Latest Update: May 2013
This woodblock print in Paul Binnie's series Edo Sumi Hyaku Shoku (A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo) entitled 'Utamaro No Shunga' is an image of a young girl tattooed with an erotic design by Utamaro, the great late-18th century artist of beauties, derived from his album 'Ehon Komachi Biki', while the cartouche design comes from his famous 'Utamakura' album.
"The art of tattooing in Japan has evolved, some might say declined, a great deal since the Edo period, and as many people have rightly pointed out, young ladies would be highly unlikely today to decide to have a large design placed on their backs like this, but this whole series is a work of the imagination, and plodding reality must be replaced with the romanticism of the image, and I hope we can suspend our disbelief long enough to appreciate the idea of the lovely young woman tattooed with a great master's work."
The edition of this print is 100. The image size is 38 x 26cm, on paper approximately 42 x 29cm. The artist used metallic pigments and lacquer detailing in the hair.
"Hokusai no Taki is the fourth in my current tattoo series 'Edo Zumi Hyaku Shoku' (A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo) - which have had a surprising international success - and it uses images from Hokusai's famous Waterfalls series for the tattoo designs."
"In addition, the model is shown with water falling on his back, the spray of which is represented with hand-applied gofun, so the idea is reinforced in the print design"
"The design of this print shows one of the favorite actors of the early 19th century Kabuki theatre, Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1791-1859), as portrayed by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1854), an artist who was particularly interested in this star actor."
"He was a member of Danjuro's fan club, often used him as a subject for surimono (privately published prints) and followed the actor's career faithfully, representing him innumerable times until his death."
"In the tattoo, Danjuro is depicted in the first performance of a play called 'Kakitsubata Iromoedozome' in the fifth month of 1815, while the cartouche image shows him in the distinctive red kumadori make-up of the character Kamakura no Gongoro in one of his signature pieces, Shibaraku. "
"Taking the dramatic pose with the sword in the print as my starting point, the model is posed to reflect the motion of striking with his short sword, which allowed the tip of the sword to break out of the frame and into the margin, and it has been hightened with pale blue mica to catch the light."
"Additionally, Danjuro seems to stand on the frame edge below, while the model's elbow breaks the frame on the right side."
"The Yoshitoshi print plays a sort of joke, as it shows the moment after a famous design by him, as it might be imagined."
"The large tattoo on the back is derived from 'Moonlight over Mount Yoshino' of 1886, one of the artist's 'One Hundred Aspects of the Moon' series, where a court lady, Iga no Tsubone, chastises the ghost of Kiyotaka for haunting the emperor."
"In this tattoo, we see what might have happened as a result, while the model's leg is tattooed with the demon Ibaraki, who moments before appeared in the 1889 print from the 'Thirty-Six Ghosts and Demons' series, gripping Sadanobu's sword-hilt, but who here has lost its arm."
"Both of these dramatic and bloody images connect with Yoshitoshi's own love of gory imagery in his work.
"Kuniyoshi was well-known in the Edo period for his love of cats, and they appear in all sorts of prints by him, from bijin-ga to shunga, and in my print the tattoos as well as the title cartouche derive from his c. 1848 series 'Cats Representing the 53 Stations of the Tokaido'."
Ryu ni Oni" (Dragon and Demon) A demon is battling against a dragon using two swords.
Black outlined tattoo in light green, blue and yellow colors on the back. The dragon in oriental view, is not an evil creature but a mythical entity associated with water and rain. Therefore, it was a favorite motif for firemen in Edo.
"Koyo" (Red Maple). Red maple leaves are falling into a stream during a thunder shower. A person and a large snake are depicted on the left arm. Tattoo in red, light and dark blue on the arms and upper torso.
"Ao" (Blue) A modified version of "Ogon" in vivid purple-blue tone. Tattoo in red and blue on the right upper arm and shoulder which depicts maple leaves falling into a stream below.
233 sold object(s) by Paul Binnie born 1967 in our Art Archive
Author: Dieter Wanczura
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