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Who could ever
want this to
happen again?
To anyone?


​ー Keith Haring, July 28, 1988




Untitled, 1982

Being born in 1958, the first generation of the Space Age, born into a world of television technology and instant gratification, a child of the atomic age. Raised in America during the sixties and learning about war from Life Magazines on Vietnam. Watching riots on television in a warm living room comfortably safe in middle-class white America. 

ーKeith Haring, 1982

Poster for Nuclear Disarmament, 1982

Keith Haring handing out Nuclear Disarmament Posters after a No Nukes Rally

©Joseph Szkodzinski 2023

Untitled, 1984

©Keith Haring Foundatio..

In the 1980s, when Haring’s career took off, the world was amidst a significant nuclear arms race, especially in the United States. In June 1982, in response to the escalating arms race, the largest anti-nuclear demonstration in U.S. history took place. For this event, Haring created the “Poster for Nuclear Disarmament,” distributing 20,000 copies in Central Park to advocate for disarmament. Throughout his life, Haring continued exploring various mediums and methods to deliver his messages, focusing on themes of peace and freedom.


In October 1987, Keith Haring visited Japan to conduct a workshop at the "Parthenon Tama," a multifaceted cultural facility located in Tama City, Tokyo. This workshop, held as part of the facility's opening commemoration event over two days, saw the participation of 500 children. While Haring conducted similar workshops around the world, he paid attention to details such as composition and color scheme even in collaborative works with children. By adhering to his own sense of aesthetics and maximizing the level of completion, he believed that the artworks would endure for future generations and that the voices of the children would be carried into the future.

Keith Haring inTama City

My Town, 1987, Courtesy of Tama City Cultural Foundation

Exhibit Period: December 3, 2024 (Thu) to May 18, 2025

Peace Ⅰ-Ⅳ, 1987, Courtesy of Tama City Cultural Foundation

Exhibit Period: June 1, 2024 to December 1, 2024

Photo by ©︎Chikako Ikegami


Every dedicated artist attempts the impossible, Success will write APOCALYPSE across the sky. The artist aims for a miracle. The painter wills his picture to move off the canvas with a separate life, movement outside of the picture, and one rent in the fabric is all it takes for pandemonium to sluice through.

ーWilliam Burroughs (excerpt from the introduction)

This work is a collaboration between Keith Haring and William S. Burroughs, representing the "Beat Generation," which used words to dissent against conservative regimes in 1950s America and had a significant influence on fields like art. Finally given the opportunity to collaborate with his admired writer, Haring interpreted Burroughs' ten poems independently, constructing a collage-based portrayal of the end of the world around imagery from art history, Christianity, and popular culture.

Apocalypse, 1988

Keith Haring
in Hiroshima

In 1988, Haring was involved with the 'HIROSHIMA ’88' charity concert for the construction of an atomic bomb victims' home. His visit to Hiroshima, the first city to suffer an atomic bombing, deeply moved him. Visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, he wrote in his journal: “Who could ever want this to happen again? To anyone?” This quote underlines the exhibition’s theme. A single atomic bomb was capable of reducing a city to ashes. Today, as we continue to witness ongoing wars and confront the presence of over 12,000 nuclear warheads around the world, we approach the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II. This backdrop serves as a stark reminder of the devastating impact of atomic bombs and underscores the ongoing struggle for peace, highlighting the pressing need to reflect on the contemporary meanings of “peace” and “freedom.”

©︎Keith Haring Foundation

Poster and LP Cover for "HIROSHIMA '88", 1988

Poster and LP Cover for "HIROSHIMA '88", 1988

Special Exhitbit

Isao Hashimoto, 1945-1998, 2003, Video (Color, Sound, 14:23min.), Courtesy of Isao Hashimoto

"2053" - This is the number of nuclear explosions conducted in various parts of the globe. 

The first nuclear test was conducted in July 1945 in the desert of New Mexico, USA. Soon after that, the atomic bombs were consecutively dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and ever since then the tests have been repeated to a total of 2053 times until 

the year 1998. 

Until the early 1960's, most tests were carried out in the atmosphere causing massive radioactive contamination.  In 1963, the United States, Soviet Union, and Great Britain signed the "Partial Test Ban Treaty" to resort to underground testing, but France and China 

continued to conduct tests on the ground. 

Then, as the anti-nuclear movements gained more strength, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was finally put into effect.  It is an agreement to reduce the possibility of a nuclear war by denying the increase of the countries that possess nuclear weapons. Following this, in 1996 the "Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty" was adopted, and by 1998 all nuclear tests accompanying nuclear explosions were banned.  However, ignoring the criticism from the international community, the United States and Russia still continue to conduct sub-critical nuclear experiments that do not cause nuclear explosions.

This piece of work is a bird's eye view of history by scaling down a month-length of time into one second.  No letter is used for equal messaging to all viewers without a language barrier.  The blinking light, sound, and the numbers on the world map show when, where, and how many experiments each country has conducted.  I created this work for the means of an interface to the people who are yet to know of the extremely grave, but present problem of the world.


*The number excludes the tests done by North Korea in October 2006, May 2009, February 2013, January 2016, September 2016 and September 2017.

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