Suspended Moment: Fat Man and Little Boy
by Yukiyo Kawano
Little Boy (folded) (2011):
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 was a gun-shaped uranium bomb. This bomb was called Little Boy.
My subject is suspended in mid-air and made of tanmono silk and momen from a kimono, with my Japanese hair woven into it.
Aunt Shoko sneakily handed me this kimono on my last trip back to Hiroshima. I dream of Grandmother putting this on, a rather provocative kimono that shows her iki, an intricate allure. Cyan blue, it is the color of Shinbashi-iro, as in Shinbashi, Tokyo, the red-light district before the war.
Seventy years later, I re-traced the hand stitching of Grandmother, with a seam ripper between my fingers. I feel "Mono no aware", a gentle sadness, a wistfulness, reflecting on the ephemera of things.
As I freed patterns from the conformity of the repetitive kimono frame, suddenly there emerged the original long tanmono pieces outside of time. Being erased, they resembled something else. A different hue. A shadow. And within its perpetual folding, in the foreboding darkness, a new shape– that of the atomic bomb.
In resurrecting this, I juxtapose weightlessness with the power of distraction by the gravity of the subject. It has been a ritual-like practice, almost passive or unconscious. Of my forgetting nothing, leaving out nothing.
Kimono of Cyan Blue
a gentle sadness