highlights international perspective

Paul Binnie, (Scottish, b. 1967)

Famous Views of Japan: Sankeien Garden
(Nihon Meisho Zu-e: Sankeien)

Color woodblock print, with embossed footprints in the foreground and mica on the edges of the icy pond. The title in kanji on upper left margin, Sankeien. Signed in kanji within the composition at lower right, Bin-ni, with red artist's seal Binnie, and embossed, Binnie, at center of bottom margin. Numbered in pencil on the bottom margin at left, 40/100, and signed at right, Paul Binnie. Self-carved and self-printed, ca. November 2004 - March 2005.

29.5 by 40.8 cm

Paul Binnie was born and raised in Alloa, Scotland. His artistic talents were recognized early and from the age of eleven he began to receive instruction in drawing and painting from a local artist. In 1985 he enrolled in a joint program in Fine Art at the Edinburgh College of Art and Art History at the University of Edinburgh. It was during his studies in art history that Binnie was first exposed to Japanese art, and during subsequent holidays in France he began collecting Japanese prints, not unlike a number of his predecessors a century earlier who also 'found' Japan by way of Paris. In 1990, Binnie completed his masters degree and moved to Paris to work on his oil painting, supporting himself by teaching English, art history, life drawing and painting. He continued to collect Japanese prints, and slowly began to incorporate some ukiyo-e influences into his paintings.

In 1993, Binnie decided to travel to Japan to try to learn about woodblock printmaking. He arrived on a three-month tourist visa, but quickly found an apartment and settled in Tokyo. Through contacts he studied woodblock print carving and printing with the master Seki Kenji (b. 1940), formerly the head printer for the print publisher Doi, who had his own woodblock carving and printing studio. Initially, Binnie worked as an assistant in Seki's studio in exchange for the opportunity to learn woodblock techniques. After approximately 18 months, he became an independent artist-printmaker, and later on, Seki even did some editioning work for his former apprentice.

Reference:
Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past - The First 100 Japanese Prints, 2007, p. 123, no. 86

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site last updated
September 22, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475