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We met Paul Binnie on the Internet in 2001. We were astonished when we saw the prints that he had created during his stay in Tokyo in the 1990s. Never have we seen anything similar since Nator Shunsen. Since then Paul has become ubiquitous on the internet and in the international art scene for contemporary Japanese prints.
The beginning of a series of famous views of Japan and finally a spectacular bijin series - "The Four Seasons" - established the young artist ultimately as an outstanding printmaker of the 20th and 21st century.
Paul Binnie was born in Alloa in Scotland. Alloa is a small town on the River Forth in the very center of the Scottish lowlands, halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. From an early age on Paul knew what he wanted to become - an artist. From the age of 12 he took extra classes with a local artist.
When he was 18 years old, in 1985, he went to study a joint degree at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art. And 5 years later, in 1990, Paul made his MA (hons) in Fine Art.
The degree was a combination of art history at the University - specializing in Asian art, japonism and ukiyo-e - and of painting, drawing and (Western) printmaking at the College of Art.
...For two years the artist made no prints at all. But when he launched a web site where he featured those prints that he had made in Japan, he received many, many requests.
Binnie started to sell his Japanese-style prints on the internet. And encouraged by the unexpected interest he decided to make a move back to woodblock printmaking. That was the time when he created the "Clouds" series of prints. He drew the designs from the balcony of his London home.
Paul had continued to send prints to the annual CWAJ (College Women's Association of Japan) show. He decided to try a pair of the cloud prints Yozora (Night Sky) and Amagumo (Rain Cloud) in that show and they sold very well. There were in total about 10 prints...