For a Master Class in Kinbaku
New Kinbaku Art Album From Myabi Kyodo With Preface By Master "K"
Great news for fans of superb bondage/Kinbaku illustration! The Sanwa company has just published the third art album by the world-famous Kinbaku illustrator Miyabi Kyodo with a preface in English by Master "K." The book is an ultra high quality, coffee table publication with most of the images being large size and in vivid color.
There is a complete biography of Miyabi Kyodo in "The Beauty of Kinbaku" but for those who don't yet know of this wonderful artist he is generally considered the most talented Japanese Kinbaku illustrator working today.
His art is hyper realistic and very erotic with every carefully rendered turn of rope and bead of sweat clearly seen. In this third album he has reached new heights of creativity and technical perfection with pictures of male and female dominants, couples in bondage (including one image so complicated in design it has to be seen to be believed) as well as his trademark, world famous illustrations of attractive women in rigorous Kinbaku.
His first two albums, also published by Sanwa (called the green album and the black album respectively), have rightfully become collectors items and this third edition (the blue album) is even more exciting and is certainly the best of the trilogy.
Here is what Master "K" had to say about Miyabi and his art in his preface to this new, 2016 album :
Cover and slipcase for the "blue album" by Myabi Kyodo and published by Sanwa, Tokyo 2016
Because of the intensely erotic nature of Miyabi's work we are told that buying the albums can be a bit tricky since Amazon in Japan will not ship them to the United States. An address in Japan or a friend in Japan or a company in the US that imports Japanese erotic material may be the best bet. However, in our opinion, in this case the effort would be decidedly worth it. Those interested can try visiting the publisher's web site at http://www.sanwapub.com/products/detail.php?product_id=3130.
Over the years the history of Kinbaku has been blessed by many fine graphic artists who have put pen or brush to paper and by so doing have fired the imaginations of generations of lovers of erotic rope.
Among the most accomplished are the great Ukiyo-e artist Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) who's brilliant use of perspective and dramatic sense signaled the final Mejii era flowering of that uniquely Japanese art form.
Then in the late 19th and 20th centuries Itoh Seiu (1882-1961), the "father" of modern Kinbaku, created many colorful masterpieces of seme-e which have rightfully taken their place among collectors as icons of erotica.
In the 1950s through the 1980s the genius of Suma Toshiyuki (1920-1984), who's artist name was Kita Reiko, helped create the golden age of Kinbaku and BDSM publishing by editing and illustrating for such legendary magazines as Kitan Club and Uramado.
And today we have the amazing artistry of the brilliant Miyabi Kyodo.
In my opinion, Miyabi stands in direct succession to these other wonderful talents. He is an artist of powerful technique and unique vision. And he even has a personal connection to the great Kita Reiko.
As a young man Miyabi worked for one of the golden age BDSM magazines. While there one of his jobs was to collect illustrations from the home of the aging master. Because of his time spent talking with and observing Kita Reiko work it could be argued that Miyabi Kyodo was his last student.
In fact, I believe several of Miyabi's best pictures are clearly inspired by Kita Reiko. However, he comes by his knowledge of expert Kinbaku techniques honestly. In the 1980s he worked as senior editor for SM Club magazine.
And what fine art he creates! Like Yoshitoshi, whose mastery of perspective advanced the art of Ukiyo-e in the 19th century and like Kita Reiko, who used new printing techniques to revolutionize magazine illustration in the 1950s, Miyabi uses that most modern of paint brushes, his computer, to create astonishingly lifelike and powerful images of seme and Kinbaku. His figures seem to leap off the page and come alive before our eyes. This can only be due to the hundreds of hours this master artist obviously spends on each of his pictures.
As a collector I have followed his career for years and I can say that, like such great masters as Matisse, Miyabi's work only gets more powerful and expert with age.
Which is not to say that Miyabi's art is always easy to enjoy. His can often be a dark vision full of sexual tension, sweat and torment and I often think of the late paintings of British artist Lucian Freud when I view Miyabi's works.
However, as with Freud, this dark vision is compensated for by genius. The intense reality of his images, the originality of his compositions and their powerful erotic sensibility makes his best work both challenging and unforgettable.
Which is not to say that Miyabi doesn't have a gentler side.
My current favorite among his large output is a recent picture (included in this album) entitled "Momoware" after the Meiji and Taisho era's unique hairstyle for women which resembled the shape of a halved peach.
It's a graceful portrait of a nude, young woman wearing this lovely hairstyle and bound to a hashira. The bindings are straw rope and the tying depicted is simplicity itself. There is no violence or overt torment in the image and yet this picture mesmerizes with its intensity and detail.
Miyabi's attention to the most minute elements of this picture is nothing short of astonishing. Each bead of sweat and pore of skin and tear in the model's eye can be clearly seen. Even the straw rope has a pulsating reality as the artist has gone to the trouble of depicting the straw not just in one color but in its many hues, from the brittle yellow of age to freshly woven young, green stalks.
However, it is the presentation of the powerful emotions on the model's face that truly makes this picture come vividly to life. This is the work of a master. This is Kinbaku-bi.
We are lucky to have Miyabi Kyodo still working and creating such masterpieces of Kinbaku art. And we should be grateful to Sanwa Publishing for their dedication to the art and genius of Miyabi that they make this third of his astonishing trilogy of albums available to those of us who so admire his talent.
(Los Angeles, California)