Hiroshima Murals: The Art of Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki

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9780870117350: Hiroshima Murals: The Art of Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki

Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki arrived in Hiroshima a few days after the atomic bomb was dropped in August 1945. They remained a month, tending the injured, building shelters, searching for food, and cremating the dead. In the decades that followed, the Marukis painted - collaboratively and on a grand scale - the scenes of Hiroshima that would not leave their minds. They joined their artistic and emotional strengths to create a visual testament of the atomic-bomb experience with fifteen large murals on this theme completed between 1950 and 1982. Viewed by more than ten million people at exhibitions in japan and throughout the world, the paintings constitute an indelible record of the reality of nuclear war. The Marukis restore the human form to the vast landscapes of waste and rubble depicted in the photographic documentation of the bombing of Hiroshima. Beginning in 1975, the Marukis expanded the scope of their joint work to other themes of the mid-twentieth century, including the Rape of Nanking, Auschwitz, and the tragic Minamata mercury-poisoning incident. Drawing on both Asian and Western traditions and experiences, they have created a transcendent vision not only of militarism, war, and nuclear devastation, but also of racism and the destruction o the environment. At the same time, the Marukis offer a vision of beauty, a model of creativity, and a sense of hope for the future. Their work represents both an act of consecration of the dead and an affirmation o life. As such, the Maruki paintings stand in direct opposition to the horrors they depict. In the interview included in this book, Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki reflect on the origins of their extraordinary collaboration and trace the course of their artistic and conceptual development over four decades.

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