Paul Binnie, butterfly bow, print

Paul Binnie, Scottish, b. 1967

A Collection of Eastern Brocade Beauties: Butterfly Bow
(Azuma nishiki bijin awase: Cho musubi)

a beauty faces away as she adjusts her coiffure, her elaborate obi embellished with gold and silver mica, her green to turquoise kimono decorated with plum branches and a scattering of plum blossoms and karazuri (blind printed) butterflies, the background decorated with pink, grey, and lavender baren sujizuri swirls; signed at upper right in kanji, Bin-ni, followed by artist's red seal Binnie, the series title on the upper left margin, Azuma nishiki bijin awase, the print title on the lower left margin, Cho musubi, embossed Binnie at the center of the bottom margin, and numbered and signed in pencil, 50/100, Paul Binnie, August - October 2005

dai oban tate-e 17 3/8 by 11 7/8 in., 44 by 30.3 cm

This print, the first of the Azuma nishiki bijin awase series launched in 2005, required fourteen woodblocks and utilized twenty-seven colors, including gold mica, and silver pigment. The title refers to the butterfly knot of her obi (waist-sash), which is decorated with a gold grid-pattern mimicking the typical seams of gold leaf on Japanese folding screens, and highly stylized swirling silver waves on a dark blue ground. The plum motif, gold-leaf screen pattern and silver waves are direct references to the pair of famous 'Red and White Plums' screens by Ogata Korin (1658-1716) in the collection of the MOA Museum of Art in Atami, Japan. This print is a tour-de-force of woodlbock printmaking, and indeed, it was used on the cover of the book created to accompany the 2007 Binnie exhibition at the Ritsumeikan University in Tokyo, Japan.

Reference:
Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past - The First 100 Japanese Prints, 2007, p. 126, no. 89 (and cover)

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