A segment of The Hiroshima Panels by Iri and Toshi Maruki

The Hiroshima Panels & A Body in Fukushima
Pioneer Works
159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn 11231
November 13-December 20

On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pioneer Works will present a series of exhibitions and programs exploring the discourse between art and trauma. The series begins with the opening of two exhibitions, running November 13 – December 20, 2015:

Main Gallery: The Hiroshima Panels
The Hiroshima Panels is an exhibition of monumental paintings depicting the bombings and aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Japanese artists Iri and Toshi Maruki. Known colloquially as the Guernica of Japan,the panels were painted over three decades and began after the artists entered post-atomic bomb Hiroshima to search for family. Responding to the many facets of devastation and trauma caused by the bombs, the artists used powerful flashes of crimson red and sky blue to highlight certain elements of the graphic scenes. Keeping with the Japanese byobu tradition, The Hiroshima Panels are painted on folding screens made of wood and paper using mostly black ink.

Also on display will be a series of looping films and videos, such as the Academy Award–nominated Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima (1986), which captures the Marukis in their decades-long collaboration to create the panels. Produced by Yoshiko Hayakawa and curated by Yukinori Okamura, this will be the first time The Hiroshima Panels have been seen in New York in 45 years.

Project Space: A Body in Fukushima
A Body in Fukushima is a 2014 series of photographs depicting post-nuclear disaster Fukushima, collaboratively created by movement artist Eiko Otake and photographer William Johnston.  In 2014, Otake and Johnston followed abandoned train tracks through desolate stations into eerily vacant towns and fields in Fukushima, Japan. Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the explosions of the Daiichi nuclear plants made the area uninhabitable. Johnston’s crystalline images capture Otake within the wrecked Fukushima landscapes. A project of witness, remembrance and empathy, A Body in Fukushima grapples with the reality of human failure.

Concurrent programs will include: a solo movement performance by Eiko Otake; a discussion on the genetic transfer of trauma between Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Dr. Rachel Yehuda, Professor of Biological Sciences Timothy Mousseau, and Mitchie Takeuchi, whose family founded the Hiroshima Red Cross in 1937; a discussion around Peter Galison’s filmContainment as part of Pioneer Works resident Janna Levin’s program Scientific Controversies, and a series of educational forums in partnership with Youth Arts New York and Hibakusha Stories, featuring testimonies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors.

The opening receptions for both exhibitions will be held on November 13, from 6–9 p.m. Following a curatorial walkthrough with Yukinori Okamura at 6pm, exhibiting artist Eiko Otake will present a solo dance performance amongst the artwork.

Eiko Otake in Fukushima photograhed by William Johnston

Pioneer Works is a non-profit arts center for research and experimentation in contemporary culture. Through a broad range of exhibitions, performances, arts and science residencies, and educational programs, Pioneer Works seeks to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, foster community, and provide a space where alternative modes of thought are supported and activated in tangible ways. The organization was founded in 2012 by artist Dustin Yellin and is located in a 25,000-square-feet manufacturing warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

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