Hiroshima

When an atomic bomb was used in 1945 it left not just a dark smear in history, it also possibly created one of the largest sins humanity created on the Earth. It marked a line not just being crossed - but erased. And it left a legacy that must not be forgotten.

In October there will be an exhibition in Manchester Art Museum of art work created by the survivors of Hiroshima.

As well as being the most powerful imagery i've ever seen - the art pieces starkly remind any observer of the sheer magnitude of the fall out.
With casualties estimated to be between 60,000 - 80,000 people and thousands more later on from radiation sickness - this exhibition gives an immersive perspective of a grim event that we should all pray will never happen again.

The paintings were done by a group called The Bomb-Exposed (hibakusha - in Japanese) and are part of The Sensory War 1914-2014 exhibition.

These are just a few pieces of the exhibition, haunting and raw -

 

oshiko Michitsuji - I Ran Toward My House Through a Sea of Flames, 1974

Yoshiko Michitsuji - I Ran Toward My House Through a Sea of Flames, 1974

Goro Kiyoyoshi - City Burning, Black Cloud in the Background, 1973

Goro Kiyoyoshi - City Burning, Black Cloud in the Background, 1973

Gisaku Tanaka - Lights Blinking On In the Atomic Desert, 1973-4

Gisaku Tanaka - Lights Blinking On In the Atomic Desert, 1973-4

 

Gisaku Tanaka - Lights Blinking On In the Atomic Desert, 1973-4

Gisaku Tanaka - Lights Blinking On In the Atomic Desert, 1973-4

Yasuko Yamagata - Woman and Child Statue, 1974

Yasuko Yamagata - Woman and Child Statue, 1974

 

Masahiko Nakata - Bloated Bodies in the River Over Yokogawa Bridge, 1973-4

Masahiko Nakata - Bloated Bodies in the River Over Yokogawa Bridge, 1973-4

 

When i first saw them i turned off my music and closed down the multiple windows that were open on the monitor.

I looked at them, not just from a creative perspective but as a human being, with a slow realisation of what this group of artists had achieved.  They not only captured the magnitude, the suffering, the evil in what happened but also a Memory.  These images stay in the viewers memory as raw as the event itself using paint and ink to such an effect that an HD camera at ground zero would not have.

Satoshi Yoshimoto - Black Rain: Something Slimy Covered My Body, 1973-4

Satoshi Yoshimoto - Black Rain: Something Slimy Covered My Body, 1973-4

Fumiko Ya - Hospital, 1973-4

Fumiko Ya - Hospital, 1973-4

This exhibition may not be suitable for a light afternoon – it is certainly for those who value not just expressionism, history and creative integrity but also deeper understanding and learning.

To find out more or visit the exhibition please go to http://www.manchestergalleries.org/whats-on/exhibitions/index.php?itemID=121 . The exhibition runs from Saturday 11 October 2014 - Sunday 22 February 2015 and is FREE to see.

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