My desire to create art comes from my search for the meaning of our existence. I use my artwork as a key to understand others and myself. The most precious thing in my life is the growth process. Art is my guide and mentor....

Monday, July 30, 2018

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Memorial Events

Our group Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World and Peace Boat hosted the event of Hibakusha (A-Bomb Survivors from Hiroshima & Nagasaki) on Friday July 13th at Players Theatre from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. They were in NYC as a part of the Global Voyage for a Nuclear-Free World project by Peace Boat. Despite short notice, a lot of people participated in this rare event. We heard testimonies and reports from three hibakusha.

Mr. Ueda Koji: Hiroshima survivor exposed to atomic bomb at age 3. Born 15 February 1942. Lives Tokyo.
Ms. Kuramori Terumi: Nagasaki survivor exposed to atomic bomb at age 1. Born 8 January 1944. Lives Hiroshima.
Mr Shnagawa Kaoru: 2nd generation Hiroshima survivor. Born 10 June 1950. Lives Hiroshima. Volunteer Guide.

Although they had no memory when the bomb was exploded, they talked about the hardships of living as an atomic bomb survivor with the memories of the other deceased hibakusha. It has been getting harder to hear memories of those days by aging of A-bomb survivors. Now, an urgent task is how to convey the testimony of the A-bomb survivors and the message of peace to the next generation.

The peace activities and anti-nuclear movement  in the United States were also introduced hibakusha and audience. One peace activist Catherine Skopic showed a ring of connected folded paper cranes that was a gift from Hibakusha long time ago in Japan and talked about the memories as she weeped. It was an emotional moment to remind that the exchange between Japanese and Americans wishing for peace has continued for many years.

The existence of faded colored folded paper cranes became an impressive silent testimony of atomic bomb victims. The cranes were in faded thin pink --- reminiscent of cherry blossoms. I felt this color symbolized connections between hibakusha who died as victims and our lives, and the connections between her and the survivors. I imagined a situation that A-bomb survivors who passed away were folding paper cranes with their wish. " Don't forget us.”

Peace Gathering to Commemorate
73rd Anniversary of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

Friday August 3 
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Front of Japanese Consulate
299 Park Avenue NYC
Organized by Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World 
Global list of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day events

25th Annual Interfaith Peace Gathering 
Commemorating Hiroshima & Nagasaki Atomic Bombings

Sunday, August 5
5:00pm – 8:00pm
Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square Park South, NYC 

Commemorative Ceremony:
Messages from the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 
Sharing Hiroshima survivor Tomiko Morimoto’s story.
A silent prayer at the exact moment of the Hiroshima bombing
(8:15 Aug. 6th Japan time)
Silent Peace Walk to Washington Square Park. 
Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb Photo Exhibition.
(My artwork titled "Silent" is part of the exhibition)

Silent Series (Hiroshima - Nagasaki )
Silkscreen, Emboss, Burned deco edge.  27.5” x 16.5”  2015

In the early 1990s I took a photograph of an abandoned school's corridor in Japan. I felt it seemed like children disappear in the future. When the March 11th, 2011 earthquake occurred, I remembered and used this photograph in my series of artwork titled "Silent “. In order to remind of the disaster, and listen to the voice of the dead, I changed the clock's time of the corridor to the time when the atomic bomb exploded and the nuclear accident occurred.

Atomic Bomb Panel & Peace Art Exhibition  
Thursday August 9- Tuesday 14
Opening Thursday August 9, 6 - 8:30pm
Monday-Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 12-3pm  
43 West 13 Street NYC

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