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Mount Konpira (Iri Maruki)

Painting, 06.08.1945, 132×3×60 cm

Description of the artwork «Mount Konpira (Iri Maruki)»

IRI Maruki (1901-1995)

Mount Konpira .Size 1320*600 mm.Technique Nihonga.

Japan.On August 6, 1945, at 08:15 local time, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration ultimatum of July 26, 1945 and Japan's refusal to comply with the ultimatum, the American B-29 "Enola Gay" bomber piloted by Paul Tibbetts and bombardier Tom Ferebee dropped the first atomic bomb, called "Little Boy" ("Little Boy") on Hiroshima. Iri Maruki . An eyewitness artist. The explosion of an atomic bomb Hiroshima Japan. Killed 140 000 people. Work of Mount Konpira that shielded with itself and saved 200,000 people from explosion or fire.Most of them died from the radiation sickness and other related diseases only few survived.

Iri Maruki was born in 1901 in Hiroshima Province. Toshiko Akamatsu was born in 1912 in Hokkaido; she is the daughter of a Buddhist monk and grew up in a rural temple.

IRI studies traditional nihonga (monochrome ink) painting; Toshi, in turn, studies Western art at university (Joshibijutsudaigaku no Joshi-ko).

They both train in Japanese painting. In 1941, they married and began working. In 1948 (i.e. three years after the end of the Second World War), they begin their long period of artistic collaboration on the subject of war and human tragedies as well as pollution, and later ; they were, as well, particularly interested in Hiroshima and the atomic bombing that took place on that city in 1945. At the time of the bombing of Hiroshima, IRI had family and some members of his family were killed; he himself arrived at the site three days after the destruction of the city. His wife joined him shortly after. They stayed at the site for a month, burying the dead and helping the survivors. Toshi would suffer from radiation for several more years afterwards. After what they witnessed, they felt the need to artistically express it and what remained in their memories : this is the beginning of 15 great paintings created in the thirty years after the attack on Hiroshima. At that time they also collected testimonies of survivors, despite the danger of being arrested. Among their other collaborative works related to the war and its related tragedies were those of the Nanjing Massacre and the Auschwitz concentration camp.

In 1956, they traveled to China and the Soviet Union.

They participate in several group events such as Seiryusha exhibitions as well as art and culture exhibitions. They participate in exhibitions of avant-garde artists and independent artists, of which they became members in 1939.

In 1953, they produced a series of ten works, paintings of the atomic bomb (a work called "Hiroshima Panels" in English), denouncing the horrors of war. For this work, they receive an international cultural peace prize. The first three panels of the series are Ghosts, Fire and Water.

They also duo paint the battle for Okinawa and the 1937 massacre in Nanjing by the imperial army. Since 1980, they have been the subject of industrial pollution.

The Hiroshima panel (原 爆 の 図, Genbaku no zu ) is a series of fifteen painted folding panels made by husband and wife artists Maruki Iri and Maruki Toshi, made over a period of thirty-two years (1950-1982). The panels depict the aftermath of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as other nuclear disasters of the 20th century. Each panel measures 1.8 meters by 7.2 meters.

The paintings depict people scarred by the violence and chaos of the atomic bombing; some wander aimlessly, their bodies charred, while others are still consumed by the atomic fire. Dying lovers embrace and mothers cradle their dead children. Each painting depicts the inhumanity, cruelty and hopelessness of war and the brutality of bombing civilians . The people depicted in the paintings are not only Japanese citizens, but also Korean residents and American prisoners of war who also suffered or died as a result of the atomic bombings.

The Maruki have tried to represent all those affected to make their cause international, and more importantly, universal to all people. The use of traditional Japanese black and white ink drawings, sumi-e , contrasted with the red of atomic fire, produces an effect that is strikingly anti-war and anti-nuclear.

The panels also depict the 1954 Daigo Fukuryu Maru accident at Bikini Atoll, which according to Maruka, showed the threat of a nuclear bomb even in peacetime.

15 groups in Hiroshima :

Ghosts (Jap. Re , Yurei, 1950)
II Fire ( Hi , Hi , 1950)
III Water (水, Mizu , 1950)
IV Rainbow (虹, Niji , 1951)
V Boys and Girls (少年 少女, Shōnen shōjo , 1951)
VI Atomic Desert (原子 野, Genshi-no , 1952)
VII The Bamboo Forest (竹 や ぶ, Takeyabu , 1954)
VIII Salvation (救出, Kyushutsu , 1954)
IX Yaizu (焼 津, Yaizu , 1955)
X Petition (暑 名, Shomei , 1955)
XI Mother and Child (母子 像, Boshi-zō , 1959)
XII Floating Lanterns (と う ろ う 流 し, ''Tōrō nagashi , 1969)
XIII Death of American Prisoners of War (米 兵 捕 虜 の 死, Beihei-horyo no shi , 1971)
XIV Ravens (か ら す, Karasu , 1972)
XV Nagasaki (長崎, Nagasaki , 1982)
Each painting is also accompanied by short prose poems written by the artists to further elucidate the theme of their visual work.Just as for the first seven there were movements around the world in different directions including ecology.

In 1967, the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels was opened in Higashi-Matsuyama , Saitama, Japan as the permanent home of the Hiroshima Panels. The fifteenth panel, Nagasaki , is on permanent display at Nagasaki International Cultural Hall. Further collaborative paintings by Maruki on Auschwitz, the Nanjing Massacre, the Battle of Okinawa, Minamata and their final collaborative painting, Hell, are also available for viewing at the Maruki Gallery.

It was for these monumental works, along with their continued efforts to educate the world, that the Maruki family was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.

The Hiroshima panels were also the subject of the 1987 Academy Award nominated documentary "Hellfire: Journey From Hiroshima".

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and 50 others. He has exhibited in 60 countries around the world. Member of Unesco and various societies.

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About the artwork

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Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Battle scene

Style of art: Abstractionism, Impressionism, Realism, Symbolism

Technique: Ink

Materials: Wood, Paper

Date of creation: 06.08.1945

Size: 132×3×60 cm

Location: mr. totchelovek