Hiroshima Appeals 1989
Comment from Designer
It is often said that: “all that lives must die.” Those who raise a call for peace, however, know the supreme joy of living. For they know that only when man is free from threat of bodily harm can he appreciate life to the fullest.
Not long ago, I viewed a photograph taken by Mamoru Horiguchi entitled “1/8” depicting a sensuous black nude. Almost catatonically, yet with a sense of acute tension, I was totally transfixed by the photo. A month passed, and still I could not drive it from my conscience. On the contrary, I became all the more captive to its spell with the passing of time.
It was during this lingering mood that I saw the German film “Der Himmel Uber Berlin” (Sky Over Berlin) from director Wim Wenders. As I watched the film, the sensuous black body that had haunted me for weeks instantly acquired the wings of an angel.
Every living being pauses to look at the sky above him and wonders about the distant realms that lie beyond. In fact such musings may be “proof”, albeit extremely abstract, of man’s existence. Watching the German film, I recalled the sky over Hiroshima and I decided to revive my memories in the 1989 Hiroshima Appeals poster.
While producing the poster, I happened to glance at my unfolding work upside–down. That was when I realized that the angel that had all along been soaring heavenward appeared suddenly to be plunging headlong toward the depths of hell. Immediately I decided to retain this double interpretation, adding the caption: “Heaven or Hell: The choice is yours.”
If even one person in ten who take this poster in hand is inspired to invert it and ponder its dual possibilities––and mankind’s two choices––then he shall stand as verification of man’s wisdom and courage. It is to him that this poster is dedicated.
Hiroshima Appeals Poster Campaign
In 1983, the Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA) and the Hiroshima International Cultural Foundation announced their collaboration on a project focusing on the theme “Hiroshima’s Spirit” and launched a poster campaign with the goal of promoting peace at home and abroad. The first poster, entitled “Burning Butterflies”, was created by Yusaku Kamekura, the president of JAGDA at the time. Designers affiliated with JAGDA produce one poster each year.
Size: B1 (728 x 1,030mm)