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This is the seventh of a series of bijin prints illustrating women throughout the decades of the 20th century. This print shows a beautiful young woman turning away from the melée of a protest march against the government’s decision to continue to allow US military bases on Japanese soil to hold nuclear weapons. Images of the crowd and the placards were taken from actual film footage of a 1960 protest, and I decided to keep the sepia tonality of the original black and white film, which forms a complex, intricate monochrome backdrop to the simpler, full-colour form of the young woman. Her t-shirt carries the anti-nuclear peace symbol, here surrounded with bronze and silver metallic pigments and 23c gold leaf, as I have used thoughout the series.
Paper size: 33.5 x 47.5 cm, and in an edition if 100. Series title and print title in blindprinting in the top left margin; signed in blindprinting and pencil in the bottom margin. There may be another state of this print in the future without the background protest march, as I think the keyblock is interesting enough to use in a new way. I have tried to replicate the rough crayon line of drawings of that period, which in fact is harder to carve than the smooth key-block lines in other prints in this series. I am constantly trying to tie this series to the decades I represent, and I hope collectors will enjoy the variety of approaches I have taken.
Paul Binnie, London April 29th, 2016