press release

Special Exhibition for the 60th Anniversary of the Hiroshima A-bombing Toward the Future - through the Eyes of the Artists awarded the Hiroshima Art Prize Issey Miyake, Robert Rauschenberg, Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Daniel Libeskind

The first city in human history to suffer the unprecedented damage of an atomic bombing, Hiroshima is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the bombing on August 6 this year. The damage caused by the atomic bomb is said to be equal to that caused by approximately 15,000 tons of TNT. It was the most powerful weapon ever produced until then, and a great number of victims suffered both physically and mentally from the invisible radiation long after the bombing.

The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art opened as Japan's first public museum of contemporary art on May 3, 1989. Given Hiroshima's historical background, the museum was founded in commemoration of the citizens who fell victim to the atomic bomb. One of our fundamental missions has been to continue to offer a platform for reconsidering "what humans should be" as well as spreading the "spirit of Hiroshima" in the world through the field of art.

Every three years the City of Hiroshima honors the achievements of artists who share the "spirit of Hiroshima" by awarding the Hiroshima Art Prize and by holding an exhibition of the winners' works at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. To date, the Hiroshima Art Prize has been awarded to five world-leading contemporary artists and artist groups. This Special Exhibition for the 60th Anniversary of the Hiroshima A-bombing brings together the works of six winners of the Prize with the aim of presenting their outlooks to the city's people.

The six featured winners of the Hiroshima Art Prize are: the Hiroshima-born Issey Miyake who has elevated design to the realm of art and attempts to express the joy of living through fashion; Robert Rauschenberg who has painted together with the world's people, especially those of the developing countries, and whose works have traveled throughout the world; Leon Golub (deceased 2004) and Nancy Spero who have created their paintings based on the theme of violence in all its forms, be it the Vietnam War, terrorism, or racial and sexual discrimination; Krzysztof Wodiczko who has dealt with "Hiroshima" and the homeless and socially vulnerable, representing the discrimination and contradictions in the world through moving images; and Daniel Libeskind who designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin and is currently in charge of designing the building for Ground Zero in New York in an attempt to embody the future direction of humankind. Though specializing in differing fields, these Prize winners all express their pure spirits based on their strong beliefs.

Atomic bomb survivors who were young on August 6, 1945 are now over 60 years old. But while memories of the atomic bombing are fading as the survivors age, the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 have re-articulated the role of Hiroshima for the future of humankind.


only in german

Toward the Future

Werke von Leon Golub, Daniel Libeskind, Issey Miyake, Robert Rauschenberg, Nancy Spero, Krzysztof Wodiczko