Skip to main content

Scholten Japanese Art Opens Noh: More Drama,
Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie

Paul Binnie (born 1967), Shakkyo, 1998, oil on canvas, 16 x 12 1/2 in. (40.64 x 31.75 cm),
gilt frame 20 5/8 x 16 7/8 in. (52.3 x 43 cm)

Noh: More Drama, Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie, Scholten Japanese Art
June 16-July 15, 2022

This new live exhibition Noh: More Drama, Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie at Scholten Japanese Art features paintings, drawings, and prints of Japanese theatrical subjects by the artist Paul Binnie, who was born in Scotland in 1967.

In the last thirty years, Paul Binnie has become well known for his woodblock prints, as he is one of very few artists who dynamically reinvigorates this ancient art form for the modern world. He handles all aspects of production, designing, carving, and printing the woodblocks himself, a method he studied in a traditional apprenticeship in Japan. During the almost six years he spent mastering woodblock carving and printing, his immersion in the culture brought him into contact with the milieu of the Japanese theater, which became a major theme of his work during his period of residency.

Binnie’s stencil and woodblock prints of the great Kabuki actors of the 1990s are well known, as he frequented the Kabuki-za, the Tokyo home of this theatrical form, both as an audience member and behind the scenes as an assistant earphone guide commentator. Living in the Sendagaya district of Tokyo, he was likewise well-situated to regularly attend performances at the National Noh Theater which was only a few blocks away. This proximity inspired a series of nearly 80 oil paintings of Noh subjects, some of which were based on his own collection of historic Noh masks as well as portraits of several Noh performers who he met through his contacts in the Kabuki theater.

Scholten Japanese Art’s website offers an online catalogue that includes a wealth of information about the content, materials, and production process of each artwork in the exhibition.

Read more, click here.