Collection > MAKOTO UENO
HOPE / ESPOIR

1964

Woodcut

Inv. št. G 240


Ueno Makoto´s Espoir (Hope), 1963, and Symbole de la Ville de Nagasaki (Symbol of the city of Nagasaki), 1964, were both shown on the occasion of Paix, humanisme et amitié entre les peuples. The dove, with and without an olive branch, became a popular motif after World War II: among others, Picasso´s lithograph La Colombe was chosen as the emblem for the World Peace Congress in Paris of April 1949; the dove motif was also frequently used by both the communist and the peace movement. During the Cold War the dove came to represent a symbol of hope.

Ueno Makoto (1909–1980) expressed this symbol of hope in many of his works. In 1961, Makoto spent two months in the Nagasaki area, which was hit by one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in the summer of 1945. Some years previous, in the late-1950s, he had worked on a series about Hiroshima. Since that time the cruelty of war never let go of its grip on him, and he committed his life to peace and promoting humanity. Over the course of many years, he made numerous ink drawings and woodcuts on these subjects and exhibited in many “anti-war” exhibitions.

His Espoir for Paix, humanisme et amitié entre les peuples became an iconic motif, for both the exhibition and the town´s agenda. Some years later, a special edition of stamps, including nine stamps and a special envelope with the date of issue – 24.10.1970 – was produced. Makoto´s Espoir turned from a symbol of world hope to a symbol of Slovenj Gradec as “peace messenger city”.

Barbara Steiner, from the exhibition Collection Reversed: Transfer, Transformation and Ruptures, 23. 10. 2015 – 13. 03. 2016, KGLU

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