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Paul Binnie, Scottish, b. 1967
The Famous 18 Plays: 'Wait a Moment'
(Kabuki ju-hachiban: Shibaraku)
kappazuri (stencil print) on black washi paper with silver pigment highlighting his hair; signed in the composition, Binnie, signed and numbered at bottom right margin in red crayon, Paul Binnie 48/80, followed by artist's seal bin-ni, and date seal Heisei roku-nen (Heisei 6 ), ca. January - April 1994
dai oban tate-e 18 1/2 by 12 1/4 in., 47 by 31.2 cm
Binnie commenced this series of kappazuri (stencil printed) actor prints in January of 1994, and completed the first 8 designs by October 1994. During the same year he also began to produce monochromatic woodblock prints, followed by full-color printing the following year. Although he continued to produce kappazuri through 1995, by 1996 his block carving and printing skills had reached a level that allowed him to overcome many of the challenges of full-color printing. Once he was able to produce color prints up to his own standards, Binnie stopped designing kappazuri and the series was not completed.
This series is named for the eighteen famous plays of kabuki, compiled in 1840 by the legendary Edo period (1603-1868) actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1791-1859). They were the actor's favorite plays, and have become not only associated with the Danjuro line of actors but regarded by many as the greatest plays of kabuki theater. The most popular of these plays, including Shibaraku, Sukeroku, Yanone, and Kanjincho, are still staged at least once a year to this day. They are often used as shumei, naming ceremonies in which actors inherit auspicious actor titles (for example, Danjuro VII started his career as Ichikawa Ebizo V, and over the course of his career changed his performance name seven times).
Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past - The First 100 Japanese Prints, 2007, p. 53, no. 11