“Hiroshima!!!!!” The return of art guerrillas Chim↑Pom

red cardIn 2008 Tokyo artist collective Chim↑Pom were pretty much run out of town when, in preparation for a solo exhibition at HMOCA, they hired a skywriting plane to draw the characters for “Pika” – the word used to describe the blinding flash of the A-bomb – in the sky above the Hiroshima. Group member Ryuta Ushiro made a public apology for “the lack of advance warning” before representatives of atomic bomb victim organizations and the planned exhibition was canceled.< 5 years later, they are back.

After what they describe on their website in English as the ““PIKA!” disputes”, the group returned to Tokyo and started working on a book “Why can’t we make the sky of Hiroshima ‘PIKA!’”. In 2009, the book was published and an exhibition “HIROSHIMA!” was held in Tokyo, during which a a talk session involving Sunao Tsuboi, representing A-bomb victim organizations. Since then the show been held in various locations – adding an exclamation mark to the title on each ocassion – and evolving over time, and taking on issues raised by the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

And now they are back with ‘Hiroshima!!!!!’ at the Former Bank of Japan building which survived the A-bombing. This time, however, they have prepared the ground. With the support and help of local exhibition space, Gallery G, Chim↑Pom spent some time in Hiroshima earlier this year working with eleven local supporters which included galleries, restaurants and music venues to raise the money needed for “Hiroshima!!!!!”.

Chim↑Pom see the exhibition continuing to evolve in the future – they hope to take it to the US – and view “Hiroshima!!!!!” in Hiroshima as a “turning point” in its development rather than as its final manifestation.

“Hiroshima!!!!!” is showing at the Former Bank of Japanbulding December 8-17, 2013. There is an opening reception 18:00-19:00 on December 6. Admission is free.

Chim↑Pom promise, “This is going to be an exhibition no one has ever seen anywhere else” so why not check it out?

Read more about Chim↑Pom


Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of GetHiroshima.com and loves running in the mountains.

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