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What I wish I'd known about aesthetics when I started shibari: Part II

Looking into the aesthetics of Japanese rope bondage

There are numerous opinions about what shibari is, so I will concentrate on what it is to me and the aesthetics of that style. I don't intend to go into western derivatives or fusion versions that also use the term 'shibari'. Since over the last decade my influence and tuition has been from some of Japan's top masters, I will use their work as a yardstick.In this tutorial. Many of the examples are not simply 'how they do it in Japan' but how the pros do it.

I point out some of the mistakes that can easily spoil a beautiful tie, provide examples, help you distinguish styles as part of an exercise to develop your own awareness and critical eye. Looking back at some of my errors, some of which I use as examples, I cringe at how easy they should have been to correct. Of course, that's easy with hindsight, but something I hope I can pass on to you before the event.

Please give us your feedback and suggestions for future editions in the Q& A forum at the bottom of the curriculum.


Your Instructor


Esinem & Nina Russ
Esinem & Nina Russ

Esinem

Esinem is a Japanese style bondage (shibari/kinbaku) artist who regularly appears at UK and international events such as Pride, Torture Garden, Erotica, Rubber Ball, Wasteland, Boundcon, Nuit Demonia and recently represented the UK at Japan's first international kinbaku event, Toubaku. He is also known for his teaching both in the UK and internationally and as co-organiser of the London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage and BOUND, Europe's premier monthly shibari event.

Over the last few years, he has been improving his skills in Japan with the help some of their best known and respected kinbakushi, Arisue Go, Osada SteveKinoko, HajimeKazami Ranki and, grand master of newaza, Yukimura Haruki. Whilst drawing from classical methods, his style is distinctive and epitomizes the art of communicating with rope, often departing from the typical serenity of shibari shows and flying in the face of tradition to produce some striking and unusual performances.

In addition, he has worked on various videos, e.g. Primal Scream's 2013, artistic collaborations and photo shoots both on and off camera. He has been involved in projects providing inspiration for Tom Ford's 2013 collection and, Raqib Shaw, an acclaimed artist who has exhibited at the Tate, Metropolitan and White Cube galleries.

He contributed to Rope, Bondage & Power, edited by Lee Harrington and is currently involved with a number of documentaries on kinbaku. He is also author of the first English language tutorial DVDs: 'Japanese Rope Bondage: Tying people, not parcels' .

Nina Russ

Nina Russ is a London based, shibari performer, rope artist and educator. She became student of Esinem in 2011 and their collaboration gave birth to BOUND shibari night (2012) and ShibariClasses (2015). She had also the fortune to participate at workshops with different Japanese shibari masters, like: Kazami Ranki, Yukimura Haruki, Kinoko Hajime.
She has performed internationally, most notably at the London Festival of the Art of Japanese Rope Bondage and RopeFest in St.Petersburg. In addition, she participates in numerous artistic, fashion collaborations and local performances. Her passion for rope has lead her on a route of discovery of concepts, philosophy, aesthetics and benefits behind this Japanese discipline.
She sees shibari as an art form which creates deep connection between the participants and also aids personal development. Due to its martial arts roots, it brings self-discipline, efficiency, effectiveness and, thus, growth in confidence and awareness. She believes these skills allow a greater focus on the most important aspects: you, your partner and your shared experience.
Rope is simply a means of communication. She wants you to discover through her tying, the language of rope, which speaks directly to the mind and body.


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