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キース・ヘリングが見た広島

Hiroshima Keith Haring Saw

Since Haring's passing in 1990, a diverse range of activities condensed into a decade-long period has been extensively investigated and researched by scholars worldwide. As the only "Keith Haring Museum" in the world operated under the auspices of the Keith Haring Foundation in the United States, our institution has focused on researching Haring's connections with Japan. In light of commemorating 80 years since the end of World War II, we embarked on planning an exhibition themed around "War, Peace, and Freedom." In July 1988, Haring's visit to Hiroshima caught our attention. Apart from entries in Haring's diary, there were scarce records of his visit to Hiroshima, with only posters he designed for a charity concert held in Hiroshima that year remaining. Upon revisiting his diary entries, it became evident that creating a mural was the purpose of Haring's trip to Hiroshima, although it did not come to fruition, leaving no Haring mural in Hiroshima.

In this investigation, we have established four pillars: (1) the background of the mural project, (2) details of the concert, (3) interactions with the people of Hiroshima, and (4) events after Haring's passing. We have begun interviewing relevant parties to shed light on these aspects.In tracing stakeholders based on limited information, we encountered Yoshikazu Uyeda, who served as the chairman of the organizing committee for the "HIROSHIMA ’88" concert, for which Haring created the main visual. Identified as the creator of the main visual, Haring expressed his desire to also undertake mural creation. Upon hearing this, Uyeda tirelessly searched for suitable locations. During Haring's stay, Uyeda acted as his host, guiding him to various places, and even after Haring returned to New York, Uyeda continued negotiations on-site with Haring and other relevant parties to realize the mural project.

In this exhibition, we will present materials that shed light on the relationship between Haring and Hiroshima, which Uyeda had kept as concert-related documents, as well as details of Haring's visit and activities during his stay in Hiroshima, and subsequent events. These details will be presented chronologically, based on interviews with stakeholders, with Uyeda at the center, forming a network of relationships.

Developments leading up to the visit to Hiroshima

1988

January 27th

January 28th

 

 

February 2nd

 

 

April 22nd

May 27th

 

July 15th

 

July 18th

 

 

July 22nd

July 23rd

July 25th

July 26th

Keith Haring visits Japan for the opening preparations of "Pop Shop Tokyo".

 

In Tokyo, he holds a meeting with Tadayoshi Akiya, a visiting professor at Hiroshima Shudo University, to discuss mural production in Hiroshima.

 

A memorandum titled "Memorandum on the Production of Works by Keith Haring" is compiled regarding the offer for mural creation.

 

Drawings for the concert are faxed from Haring's representative to concert organizers.

Publicity materials for the concert are delivered to the secretariat.

Concert organizers receive notification of Keith Haring's visit to Hiroshima.

 

Hiroshima Technical School affiliated with Hiroshima Institute of Technology and Hondori Elementary School are nominated as potential sites for mural production.

 

Keith Haring departs from New York.

 

Keith Haring arrives in Japan.

 

Hiroshima Technical School affiliated with Hiroshima Institute of Technology is selected as the site for mural production.

Keith Haring records in his journals the inspection of Hiroshima promotional items such as pins and T-shirts in Tokyo, and sets the schedule to visit Hiroshima for mural site inspection starting on the 28th.

Haring's Itinerary in Hiroshima

Departure from Haneda Airport

Arrival at Hiroshima Nishi Airport (now Hiroshima Heliport)

Check-in at Hiroshima ANA Hotel (currently ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Hiroshima)

Meeting at Hiroshima City Hall with the Mayor's Office regarding mural project

Tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Visit to the Atomic Bomb Dome

Observation at Motokawa Elementary School in Hiroshima for mural project

Survey at Hiroshima YMCA for mural project

Invited by Mr. Hanazawa, one of the companions, to his framing shop, Picasso Studio

Dinner at Okonomimura Eega

Return to Hotel

 

Stakeholders' assembly at the hotel

Tour of Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art for mural project

Check-out from the hotel

Luggage drop-off at Picasso Studio

Lunch at Kushinobo

Departure from Hiroshima Nishi Airport

1988

Thursday, July 28th

  11:30

  13:00

Friday, July 29th

  10:00 

  12:30

  15:00

Upon arriving in Hiroshima, Haring first visited the Hiroshima City Hall. After meeting with the Chief of the Mayor's Office and exchanging views on the mural project, he headed to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. His diary for that day details what he witnessed at the museum and his thoughts on the experience.

I woke up and went to the lobby to meet Fukuda + his wife to go to HIROSHIMA. We drove to the airport and took a plane (1.1/2 hours) to Hrioshima. At the airport we were met by a TV crew and photographer who followed our exit from the airport and arrival at the hotel. We checked in and met the other people who were going to be our hosts in Hiroshima. They had already been researching the possibilities of doing a mural and had several sites to show me. After this we all went to visit the Peace Museum + Memorial which is a vivid documentation of the horrors of Hiroshima. It is impossible to imagine the magnitude of the bombing until you personally experience touring this museum. I was followed by the photographer, which was uncomfortable, but not even that could minimize the shock of what I was looking at. There were many families with children in the museum at the same time. I had, of course, read about and seen some photos of HIROSHIMA before, but I never felt it like this. It is incredible that this destruction was caused by a bomb which was made in 1945, and that the level of sophistication of nuclear worthest has increased since then and the number of these worthest has multiplied. Who could ever want this to happen again? To anyone? The frightening thing is people debate and discuss the arms race as if they were playing with toys. All of these men should have to come here, not to a bargaining table in some safe European country.

There was one photo of a pile of human skulls that was beyond reality. Pictures of the  radioactivity’s After effects were nothing short of science-fiction horror pictures. Descriptions of black raindrops, photos of melted faces, etc. etc.


Strangely, what struck me most were 2 photos of Jimmy Carter’s visit to the Peace Museum in 1884. In both pictures Amy (approximately 17 years old at the time) is at his side. The look off on her fare says it all. It is maybe the archetypal expression of any intelligent, sensitive American teenager upon realizing for the first time the profound reality of our fragile situation and possibly our future. In one picture all you can see is one eye and part of her head, since she is standing behind her father. The terror in her eye is so real and so sincere that it riveted me to tears.

After leaving here we walked through the park in silence. It was not necessary to speak for everyone understood. We visited some monuments in the Peace Park and the Dome, which is a building left standing (partially) after the bombing and has remained as a reminder of the vast destruction.

Keith Haring Journals
THURSDAY  JULY 28 - 88

Honkawa Elementary School

Across the river from the Dome is the school where I want to paint. Its proximity to the park and its perfect exterior wall that faces the park makes this the obvious choice. Upon seeing it and realizing its importance I try to explain to them that a mosaic-like mural would be more appropriate and more permanent. Every-one agrees.

ーKeith Haring

Hondori Elementary School, located in Hiroshima City, was founded in 1873. On August 6, 1945, the school, located a mere 410 meters from the hypocenter, lost the lives of 400 students and 10 faculty members due to the atomic bomb. It is considered the model for the elementary school depicted in the manga "Barefoot Gen," and some of the surviving school buildings are preserved today as the Honkawa Elementary School Peace Museum.

Courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Courtesy of Hiroshima Municipal Archives

Picasso Gabo

So then we went and had dinner (Japanese soul food) at a very funky place and visited one of our hosts "gallery" which turned out to be a frame shop. While there I met his 76 year old mother (a survivor of HIROSHIMA), who was my big fan. I did a big drawing for her, much to her delight. When we left the shop she came downstairs for final bows and goodbyes and as we walked down the street (quite a long way) she remained standing, watching. As I turned the corner I looked to see if she was still there even though I knew she would be. One final bow. Moments like this make me fall in love with this country: the subtleties and nuances of daily life and values which Western people aren’t even conscious of anymore. There is a kind of poetry to all life here and every action seems symbolic.

ーKeith Haring

Picasso Gabo is an art supply store located in Horikawa-cho, Chuo-ku, Hiroshima City. Established in 1932 before the war, it has continued to support artists in Hiroshima ever since. The store's owner, Yoshiaki Hanazawa, took Haring around, guiding him to various potential mural sites. During their tour, a hungry Haring asked Hanazawa's son, who was also with them, to buy him a hamburger. The drawing featured here was given by Haring to Hanazawa's son as a token of appreciation for the favor.

Courtesy of Yoshiaki Hanazawa

Picasso Gabo is an art supply store located in Horikawa-cho, Chuo-ku, Hiroshima City. Established in 1932 before the war, it has continued to support artists in Hiroshima ever since. The store's owner, Yoshiaki Hanazawa, took Haring around, guiding him to various potential mural sites. During their tour, a hungry Haring asked Hanazawa's son, who was also with them, to buy him a hamburger. The drawing featured here was given by Haring to Hanazawa's son as a token of appreciation for the favor.

Courtesy of Yoshiaki Hanazawa

Picasso Gabo

When Haring visited Hiroshima in 1988, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art was set to open the following year as Japan's first public museum dedicated to contemporary art. It was one of the leading candidate locations for the mural project. While being guided by the museum preparation office’s curator, Haring discussed how to realize the mural at the under-construction museum.

Although detailed records of the conversations that took place there have not been found, the Chugoku Shimbun reported the following day that the decision to create a mural at the museum had been made.

Photo courtesy: Chugoku Shimbun

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art

JULIA-

I'M IN HIROSHIMA AND HAVE FINISHED LONG DAY OF MEETINGS. I FOUND A WALL THAT WOULD BE GREAT TO DO A MOSAIC MURAL ON AND I'M INVITED TO DO A WALL IN THIS INCREDIBLE NEW ART MUSEUM BEING BUILT.

VISITING THE PEACE MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL WAS ONE OF THE MOST SOBERING AND FRIGHTENING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE. YOU CANNOT IMAGINE UNTIL YOU SEE IT FIRST HAND. 

STRANGELY ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HIT ME HARDEST WERE 2 PHOTOS OF JIMMY CARTER'S VISIT TO THE MUSEUM IN 1984. ASIDE OF HIM IN BOTH PICTURES IS AMY (ABOUT 17 OR 18 YEARS OLD ) AND THE LOOK ON HER FACE WAS ENOUGH TO BRING TEARS TO MY EYES IMMEDIATELY. IT IS SO TOTALLY SINCERE AND AS CLOSE TO WHAT ONE WOULD IMAGINE TO BE THE ARCHETYPICAL TEENAGE AMERICAN EXPRESSION UPON REALIZING FOR THE FIRST TIME THE PROFOUND REALITY OF OUR SITUATION AND OUR OWN DESTINY. SOMEHOW THE DOCUMENTATION OF THE SCARRED AND MAIMED BODIES WERE MUCH LESS SHOCKING OR REVEALING THAN THESE 2 PHOTOS. IN ONE PHOTO ALL YOU CAN SEE OF AMY (BEHIND HER FATHER AS HE SIGNS A DOCUMENT) IS ONE EYE AND PART OF HER HEAD AND EVEN IN THIS PHOTO (MAYBE , ESPECIALLY THIS ONE) THE HORROR OF THE SITUATION IS SO REAL IT MADE MY SKIN CRAWL WITH FEAR. TODAY IS A DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET.

Fax to Studio Manager

“One night, in my hotel room, I begin reading a book that Julia Gruen gave me for the trip.  It’s entitled Cities on a Hill, and deals with four different U.S. communities, one of which is the Castro district of San Francisco, which is a gay community. In this chapter, which deals with gay liberation and the effects of AIDS, there’s a guy who inspects himself every day, looking for the purple splotch, which means KS or the AIDS-related cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma. ”

“I suddenly decide to do the same. I look all over myself, and I find a spot on my leg which has a tiny, tiny mild little purple spot. I immediately get paranoid.”

ーKeith Haring

“One night, in my hotel room, I begin reading a book that Julia Gruen gave me for the trip.  It’s entitled Cities on a Hill, and deals with four different U.S. communities, one of which is the Castro district of San Francisco, which is a gay community. In this chapter, which deals with gay liberation and the effects of AIDS, there’s a guy who inspects himself every day, looking for the purple splotch, which means KS or the AIDS-related cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma. ”

“I suddenly decide to do the same. I look all over myself, and I find a spot on my leg which has a tiny, tiny mild little purple spot. I immediately get paranoid.”

ーKeith Haring

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