Photographs of clothing worn by A-bomb victims featured in Miyako Ishiuchi exhibition

by Naoki Tahara, Staff Writer

Photographer Miyako Ishiuchi’s “Hiroshima Strings of Times” exhibition opened on June 28 at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), under the sponsorship of MOCA and the Chugoku Shimbun, and will run until August 10.

Thirty-nine photographs, along with video, of clothing and accessories worn by A-bomb victims are on display. Pretty flower patterns, polka dot patterns, bright colors, soft fabrics…the photographs of dresses, blouses, and socks evoke images of the women who wore this clothing and the time in which they lived. The pictures reveal that, even during a time of war, daily life went on and women were still conscious of fashion. At the same time, images of clothing that suffered rips and burns tell how the lives of these women were destroyed in an instant by the atomic bomb.

Ms. Ishiuchi is known for such works as a series of photographs which feature scars on human bodies. As an artist, she is active worldwide and has represented Japan in the Venice Biennale. For this new work, Ms. Ishiuchi decided to take pictures of the belongings of A-bomb victims to express the spirit of Hiroshima in a new way.

Visitors at the exhibition gazed silently at Ms. Ishiuchi’s images, sensing the energy of life and the tragedy wrought by the A-bomb, that lies behind them.

(Originally published on June 29, 2008)

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