Environment of Hiroshima to be depicted in work of art

by Masayuki Ito, Staff Writer

A Korean artist, Atta Kim, 54, who is mainly based in New York, has chosen Hiroshima as the setting for one of his pieces, and he has begun work on it. He places canvases at sites where the scars from war and from environmental destruction still remain, and then waits until nature's traces appear on the canvas. Through his pieces created under this process, he questions human actions. On July 22, he placed a canvas near the A-bomb Dome.

The project involves "works created by nature" and was begun at the end of last year. The canvases, 2 to 3 meters wide, are left at the sites for two years until blots, stains, and smells from such elements as weather, birds, and insects appear.

For the project, he has placed canvases in 15 locations, including the cities of New York, Paris, Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo, and locales like a desert in Chile and a forest area in Siberia. Mr. Kim is considering as many as 70 locations, including Auschwitz and Venice, as candidates for his project. When every piece in the project is ready, he will collect them all and display them at various locations in the world.

From the beginning, Mr. Kim felt that Hiroshima, the site of the world's first nuclear attack, should be included in his project. With the cooperation of a Japanese inn located near the A-bomb Dome, it has become possible to realize this aim.

Mr. Kim placed his canvas on the roof of the inn on this day. "I hope my work, created by the environment in Hiroshima, will remind people of the A-bomb tragedy."

(Originally published on July 23, 2010)