|index of the exhibition|
Paul Binnie, Scottish, b. 1967
Flowers of a Hundred Years: Contact Lens [of 1970]
(Hyakunen no Hana: Hyakunen no Hana: 1970 Nen no Kontakuto Renzu)
with details highlighted in bronze, 23 carat gold leaf, and both silver and white mica, the series title Hyakunen no Hana and print title, 1970 Nen no Kontakuto Renzu in karazuri ('blind-printing') on upper left margin, signed in kanji, Bin-ni at lower left followed by red artist's seal Binnie, numbered and signed in pencil on the bottom margin, Paul Binnie, 2017
dai oban tate-e 18 1/2 by 13 in., 47.1 by 33.1 cm
This is the eighth design issued in Binnie's Flowers of a Hundred Years series, which is projected to include twelve designs in total. The series explores the lives of Japanese women through the decades in the 20th century. While some of the subjects have considered social and political issues, this design takes a playful approach to the 1970s, the so-called "Me Decade"-- as coined by the American author Tom Wolfe in an article of the same name published in New York Magazine in 1976. Perhaps the image of a beauty inserting a contact lens could be read as the epitome of self-reflection, with both the mirror and the lens suggesting her inward gaze.
Interestingly, the splatter pattern along the upper margin highlighted in a deeper shade of teal was achieved by creating a random spattering of varnish along the upper edge of the background block. As usual with this series, the artist embellished the print with subtle details such as the edging of the mirror in silver mica, the backside decorated with 23 carat gold leaf and bronze metallic stars, the white ground of her bold floral-patterned kaftan is likewise highlighted with a dusting of white mica.