Suspected Moment: Activating the Nuclear Past + Present | Yukiyo Kawano, Meshi Chavez, Allison Cobb + Lisa DeGrace

November 21 - 30, 2016 | Littman Gallery

Reception: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | 6 - 8pm

Curated by Paul Mazier


Opening Reception Schedule:

6:00–6:15 | Artist Talk w/Yukiyo Kawano

6:20–6:40 | Performance w/Meshi Chavez + Allison Cobb

6:45–6:55 | Q&A w/Yukiyo Kawano, Meshi Chavez + Allsion Cobb

Suspended Moment: Activating the Nuclear Past + Present is an exhibition of Yukiyo Kawano’s life-size sculpture of the Little Boy atomic bomb. The exhibition’s opening reception culminates with performances by butoh choreographer Meshi Chavez and poet Allison Cobb.

At the heart of Suspended Moment is a life-sized sculpture of the nuclear bombs dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6/9, 1945. Kawano –herself a third generation hibakusha– created the sculptures using the kimono of her grandmother, stitched together with strands of her own hair. The sculptures meld generations of atomic bomb survivors’ DNA into haunting shadows of the instrument of destruction. Suspended Moment also features a performance of butoh dance, a post-WWII Japanese dance tradition that rejects Western influence and traditional Japanese form.

Connecting the past with the present, Suspended Moment is also a protest against the Japanese government’s lack of sufficient aid for survivors of nuclear catastrophes, including the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster; and a lack of protection for people forced to live on toxic, irradiated land.

Suspended Moment demonstrates the incomprehensible, unimaginable horror and magnitude of nuclear war. The goal is to make plain the human impact of nuclear technology through a blatant and unavoidable display. By so doing we hope the project will inspire solutions to the nuclear threat.

Little Boy (folded)

kimono, bamboo, ash, hair, ink, baisen mordant dye

24.5" x 24.5" x 8" 11"

A construction/fiber sculpture forms the shape of Little Boy, A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6th, 1945. All the pieces are sewn with hair.

FatMan (after Matsuo Basho) (2015)

kimono, foam, hair, ink, kaki-shibu (fermented persimmons) dye

5’ x 5’ x 10’ (height)

*(The actual size of Fat Man, A-bomb, dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.)

This sculpture is completely covered in excerpts from “Narrow Road to The Deep North,“ a record of the poet Basho’s trip in 1689 to the northern part of Japan that includes modern day Fukushima. Last month we brought this sculpture to Richland, near Hanford, WA, extends the connection across the ocean to the birthplace of nuclear technology.

Yukiyo Kawano is 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. Kawano is currently living in Portland, Oregon.

Meshi Chavez is a dancer, teacher and choreographer. He is cofounder of Momentum Studio in Portland, where he teaches weekly classes. Meshi teaches Butoh and other forms of movement based workshops in the United States and throughout Europe. His mentors include Toronto based choreographer Denise Fujiwara, and Japan’s Natsu Nakajima.

Allison Cobb is the author of Born2 (Chax Press); Green-Wood (Factory School); Plastic: an autobiography (Essay Press EP series); and After We All Died, just out from Ahsahta Press, which was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. Cobb works for the Environmental Defense Fund and lives in Portland, Oregon, where she co-curates The Switch reading, art, and performance series.

Lisa DeGrace is a composer and performance artist based in Portland, Oregon. Lisa primarily creates scores and compositions for dancers, as well as her own performance work. She describes her compositions as “environmental soundscapes,” developed from layers of vocal manipulation, sound clips, and live and recorded instrumentation. Her scores offer grounding for narrative, movement, and mood. In addition to composition work, Lisa creates performance pieces steeped in her training as a clown.

Littman WhiteLittman Gallery