Major Kinbaku and Arts Festival on the Horizon

Here's the official press release for the London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage. The event is just around the corner so if you're in the vicinity, it looks like something well worth attending. -- KJ

London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage, 25-28 June, 2009

The London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage will be totally unique. We are keen to promote kinbaku (aka shibari/Japanese rope bondage) as an artistic inspiration, a performance art in its own right and as a means of erotic communication, whilst sharing knowledge about it and its cultural context.

Hit the Read More link for additional coverage and photos.


Thurs, 25 June, 8pm - 12pm Kinbaku Salon. An opportunity for photographers and artists to capture the amazing work of Nawashi Murakawa with a traditional Japanese theme.

Fri, 26 June, 8pm - 12pm An exhibition of Japanese bondage art, including the iconic Yoshitoshi woodblock print "The Lonely House on Adachi Moor", photography, ceramics, body casting and other mediums, plus bondage performances and talks by the artists. A great opportunity to socialise and meet the stars of the event.

Sat, 27 June, 12am - 6pm A series of workshops and classes to enhance your bondage related skills, plus a rope free-for-all, with expert advice on hand, where you can tie or be tied.

Sat, 27 June, 10pm - till late The big rope party with an international cast of top rope performers throughout the night. Apart from traditional style shibari shows, there will be some interesting and unusual ones. We have been promised a blend of rope and butoh, zentai, plus suspension meets Jackson Pollock for starters...

Sun, 28 June, 2pm - 7pm Presentations on tying skills, history of kinbaku and other fascinating subjects, plus market, shiatsu massages, acupuncture and lots more.

Sun, 28 June, 7pm - 11pm Film festival

The Lonely House on Adachi Moor

We will also be exhibiting, possibly for the first time ever in the UK, Yoshitoshi’s notorious, yet compelling, woodblock seme-e print: Oshu adachigahara hitotsuya no zu, 1885.

Aged 11, Yoshitoshi apprenticed to Kuniyoshi, whose work is currently on show at The Royal Academy. Yoshitoshi is considered the last grand-master of ukiyo-e art.

This is one of the most striking images in the history of Japanese seme-e (SM) art. Not only is it iconic in its own right but it's also influential in the history of modern kinbaku in that it profoundly influenced Itoh Seiyu, the father of modern kinbaku, who was fascinated by Yoshitoshi's genius in duplicating a sakasa zuri (upside down suspension) with such accuracy. However, Itoh was so taken by this image that he twice attempted to duplicate it in photography using his own pregnant wife as model!

Jamie McCartney

A multi-award winning sculptor and the UK's leading life-casting artist. In addition to making casts of his clients, Jamie uses the process to create his increasingly recognised and controversial gallery works. He was awarded the 2007 Erotic Signature sculpture prize for The Spice of Life, which features in the glossy coffee table book, The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today Vol 1 and looks set for iconic status. April 2007 saw the opening in the West End of Amora, The Academy of Sex and Relationships, which features this and six more of Jamie’s sculptures on permanent display.

In 2008 Jamie's Internal Affairs, an internal vaginal casting, was accepted into the permanent art collection of the World Famous Kinsey Institute. His neo-surrealist sculpture, The Impossibility of Passion, was runner-up in the 2008 Erotic Signature competition and features in the The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today Vol II.

His work often tends to feed into our curiosity and insecurities, working on many levels, both aesthetic and conceptual, there are always elements to intrigue and to captivate. Always evolving and developing new processes as he goes, Jamie's eclectic artworks are becoming something of a trademark.


Markus Seifermann founded ‘Patalab with Uwe Schmidt-Hess as a “studio which explores the potential of architecture”.

Markus was responsible for the layout of the “The lost space of Stiller” exhibition that opened in ETH University of Zurich on Feb. 18 which got its inspiration from “Stiller”, the novel by the Swiss architect and writer Max Frisch.

In collaboration with the Max Frisch Archive in Zurich, the initiative looks at the protagonist of the novel as a metaphor of a journey for identity, a bridge between architecture and literature.

The installation space included four boxes in the main University hall:

Stiller's studio, where fragments of identity are put together in objects and collages;
the dining room, with rope bound mannequins where scenes of Stiller's real house in Zurich are projected on the table and a record player generates a continuous, strident sound;
the bathroom, a cold, aseptic setting;
the attic, immersed in darkness and filled with whispering and voices that narrate passages from the book.

Rope, Bondage & Power

lfes 09 We will be launching this compilation of essays from experts around the world. Edited by Lee ‘Bridgett’ Harrington, eclectic artist, spiritual and erotic educator, gender adventurer and published author on human sexuality and spiritual experience.

There is no other book currently in print that covers such a wide range of topics for rope enthusiasts. There are many extraordinary rope books in print, but they are almost exclusively guides to how one goes about learning this art. Said differently, virtually all the rope books in print are meant to help readers learn the how of rope bondage.

That’s not what this book does. This book shares the views of seventeen prominent riggers as they explain the why of their art. This book is about the power of rope. This book is also about the power exchange aspect of rope.  Even more that that, this book is about the intimacy of rope.

Mark Boyce, ceramic artist/designer

As director of Sour Designs, Mark was nominated for British Wall Covering Designer of the Year. His ‘cow parsley’ tile design was featured across numerous publications, such as Wallpaper, Grand Designs, Elle Decoration, The Times, Independent and The Guardian.

He was also Art Consultant on the popular BBC entertainment series The Armstrong’s.

Using materials such as porcelain, gold, silver and platinum lustre, Mark is currently working on a series of bespoke, hand carved ceramic wall coverings based on a collage of Japanese Rope Bondage, which will make their premiere at our event.


Resistance Gallery is a unique, multi-functional, modern, 2,200 sqft arts, performance and gallery space in the creative heart of Bethnal Green, London E2. They provide art exhibition space, theatre, avant-garde gatherings, cabaret, photographic shoots, filming & video location, live music events, multimedia installation experiences, workshops etc.


Bruce Argue/Esinem: One of the most accomplished and well-known kinbaku (Japanese rope bondage) artists outside of Japan and one of the very few full-time Western professionals. Runs regular classes in London.

Garry Vanderhorne: Owner of Resistance Gallery and an experienced promoter. His most spectacular success is the Lucha Britannia phenomena.

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Next year's London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage is being planned for 30 April - 3 May 2010, for full details see

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