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Phyllis Rodin on Hiroshima Kiri Paintings

Kiri-e, fabric collage pictures by survivors of Hiroshima's aftermath. An exhibition at the C.X.Silver Gallery in West Brattleboro of exquisite paintings using tiny pieces of colored cloth as the medium, done by student survivors of the 1945 bombing who were rescued by a teacher and taught this traditional painting technique to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives. The teacher, Atika-san, instructed the students to paint some thing or place or person of beauty as a way of attempting to transcend inner and outer chaos. The subject matter of the paintings vary from beloved dolls, to tranquil courtyards and countryside, fond memories of festivals, potted flowers and bonsai, to classic pictures of women reminding us of Utamaro's wood block prints. One depicted Hiroshima at night in an era of peace. Another depicted the remains of the bridge on which many of her peers perished. Before they painted, they had to recuperate enough to go out and salvage whatever colored cloth they could find in the ashes and debris. They brought the cloth back, cleaned it of soot, and then followed Ataki-san's direction to create beautiful compositions of subjects of beauty.

The collection of kiri-e belongs to Phyllis Rodin of Amherst, MA, who just passed away 1/30/2015. Phyllis was given this collection in the 1960s by Yoshinori Ataka, a teacher of art, on behalf of the city of Hiroshima in appreciation for Phyllis serving the people of Hiroshima in the hospital there for one and a half years in the 1960s. Phyllis was there helping any way she could, listening and spending time with patients, helping them deal with their flashbacks from twenty years earlier. With this precious collection of kiri-e, Phyllis has toured many cities and countries raising awareness of the dangers of nuclear devastation and war and the alternative of Peace through Beauty. Phyllis has been an inspiring speaker about her cause for Creating Peace with a determination to keep reaching out to others.

The exhibition has been open year round on a daily basis by appointment, (802) 257-7898, ext. 2. The gallery is located at 814 Western Avenue, West Brattleboro, Vermont on Vermont Route 9, one mile west of Interstate 91, Exit 2, on the left. For further information and viewings contact Adam Silver, (802) 257-7898 ext. 1, allAsia@accvt.org. More information on the kiri-e is at accvt.org/kiri-e. Further information on Asian Cultural Center of Vermont can be found by exploring the accvt.org website.
Kiri-e, fabric collage pictures by survivors of Hiroshima's aftermath. An exhibition at the C.X.Silver Gallery in West Brattleboro of exquisite paintings using tiny pieces of colored cloth as the medium, done by student survivors of the 1945 b...
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