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Friday, March 20, 2009
By EDAN CORKILL
Artist group Chim↑Pom have been careful not to apologize for writing "pika" ("flash," or "bang") in the sky above Hiroshima last October — despite a wave of protests in reaction to the stunt. What they did apologize for was going about their work in a way that caused offense to those old enough to remember the atomic bombing of the city. They insisted all along, though, that they would eventually exhibit the completed piece in the form of a video documentary.
That time has now come. At a three-day exhibition on March 20 at Vacant in Omotesando (www.n0idea.com), they will show the video along with a second work, the artists' take on a peace symbol associated with the atomic bombings, an origami crane. Few have seen the video of the "pika incident," though word has it that the way the evocative text slowly appears above the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, before quickly vanishing, is extremely moving. The exhibition also commemorates the publication of a book, "Naze Hiroshima no Sora wo Pika to Sasete wa Ikenai noka," (literally, "Why You're Not Allowed to Make the Hiroshima Sky Flash"), which includes contributions by more than 20 critics and journalists (including this one) about last year's commotion. From 4 p.m. on Friday, Sunao Tsuboi, head of an association of atomic-bomb victims' groups in Hiroshima, will give a talk.