Collection > ONO TADASHIGE

Woodcut, 1964

59,3 x 45 cm

Inv. no. G 225

Ono Tadashige donated the print River of Hiroshima to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška together with the print Hill of Nagasaki in 1966, during the international exhibition Peace, Humanity and Friendship among Nations.

The River of Hiroshima depicts an eery image of one of the rare buildings that was not completely demolished during the nuclear bomb attack in August 1945. The image of a once mighty edifice, later named Genbaku Dome or A-bomb Dome, fills the entire surface of the print. The ruin rising above the river bank towards the light-yellowish sky, with its emphasised dark contours and surfaces in subdued red tones, simultaneously appears majestic and fragile, while the black birds flying across the skeletal remains of the destroyed dome and the bright river beneath it, instil the space in which no other living beings are present with a sinister mood. With his use of a sparse colour palette and the predominant dark red tones, which further emphasise the bloody fate of the city devastated by the destructive fires of nuclear cataclysm, Tadashige created a dark atmosphere. Further contributing to this effect is his use of the special technique of colour negative printing, with which he imbued his works with a serious, dark and anxious feeling. The skeletal shape of what remains of the building in the print River of Hiroshima is a silent reminder of the devastating power of the most destructive force ever created by mankind, and at the same time a warning as well as a call for peace and a world without war.

Text: Katarina Hergold Germ

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