Date : Jul. 8 - Sep. 24, 2023
Tomiyasu Yuma: In Presence of Shadows
My maternal grandparents were exposed to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 1.5 km from the hypocenter. My grandmother told me about her experience only once before she passed away. Droves of people walked like ghosts with their arms, the skin peeling off, held in front of them. They begged her for help, but, helpless to do so, she desperately fled. My grandmother cried as she recounted her experience, and I haven’t forgotten the extreme shock I felt at the tragedy and horror of what she described.
Whenever I think about my grandmother’s life, I can never separate it in my mind from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. As a third-generation A-bomb survivor, I have always hoped to someday create a work that brings me face-to-face with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to do so. The atomic bombing is a topic that I hope to continue to explore, but for now I believe this current form is the best way for me to present it.
I began these works by meeting with hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) and hearing their stories. Although it was unusual for me to create works based on research, I also wanted to search for a more universal expression. Hibakusha are already elderly, and I feel a strong sense of crisis that there are fewer and fewer opportunities for them to directly convey their experiences to younger generations. On the other hand, I also believe that art has the power to convey their experiences and wishes in another form beside their spoken words.
Although 2023 marks 78 years since the end of World War II, wars still exist in the world. I hope these works will encourage people to reflect again on humans’ sorrow and suffering, as well as strengthen their desire for peace.
With support from: Accenture Art Salon / Taguchi Art Collection
In cooperation with: Art Front Gallery
Born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1983. Moved to the UK in 2005 to complete undergraduate and Masters degrees at University of the Arts London, Chelsea College of Arts’ fine art department. Returned to Japan in 2012. Completed a PhD in Fine Art at Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Fine Arts. With a motif of the gap between reality and unreality, she has exhibited a number of works that remind viewers of their perception of the invisible and uncertain across a variety of media, including immersive installations, painting, and sculpture. Major exhibitions include “Setouchi Triennial 2022” (Teshima/2022), solo exhibition “Aperto 15 TOMIYASU Yuma The Pale Horse” (21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa/2021-22), solo exhibition “Shadows of Wandering” (KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater/2021), solo exhibition “shiseido art egg 12: Yuma Tomiyasu, Obsessed With Dreams” (Shiseido Gallery/2018), and solo exhibition “guest room 002: Yuma Tomiyasu, Rooms of absence/presence: Iconography of Spirit, dream and unconsciousness” (Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art/2018). Major awards include a special prize of The 21st Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art (2018).