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a view from behind of two young beauties wearing the elaborate kimono, obi and hairstyles typical of Kyoto maiko (apprentice geisha); painstakingly printed using over fifty colors, with metallic printing on the obi and multiple shades of black, grey and brown utilized to capture the highlights of their hair; signed at the lower left 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, Kyo Maiko, embossed Binnie at the center of the bottom margin, and numbered and signed in pencil, 13/100, Paul Binnie, February 2008
oban tate-e 17 3/4 by 11 7/8 in., 45 by 30.2 cm
Apprentice geisha (geiko, or maiko), are typically teenaged girls, and traditionally wear more elaborate clothing, make-up, and hair ornaments than a geisha who has completed her training. As such, it is quite fitting that Binnie’s production of this print was lavish- it was the most complex print he has produced to date. With an extraordinary tally of over fifty colors, and embellishments such as gofun (ground and calcified oyster shells) on the faces, gold and silver on their obi, mica on the hair-combs, and karazuri (‘blind printing’) on the red-pink cloth inside the bun of the maiko on the right to imitate silk crepe.