Yukiyo Kawano, a third generation hibakusha (nuclear bomb survivor) grew up decades after the bombing of Hiroshima. Her work is personal, reflecting lasting attitudes towards the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kawano’s main focus is her/our forgetfulness, her/our dialectics of memory, issues around cultural politics, and historical politics.
For the latest project, she used pieces of translucent kimono fabric and sewed together with strands of her hair (the artist’s DNA as a third generation hibaku-sha), for the possibility of looking inward, suggesting another/personal view to our official receptacle of memory.
During the school show in Vermont, Kawano performed in front of the object in desperation about the urgency of expressing fears about the devastation of our human bodies. The historical conjuncture, with the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the legacy of the nuclear era opened up a space for the performativity of her/our questioning of history, memory, witnessing, and disaster in the present moment.
Kawano is currently living in Portland, Oregon.
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