Sunday, September 04, 2011

Mystery Man part 2

Well, Twitter is aflitter with different theories about the Mystery Man at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Is the video real? Has it been edited?

A very interesting discussion of the man's exact whereabouts was posted today by Tokyo Outsider:

One theory that is floating around about the man's identity is that he could be an activist or performance artist. If this was accomplished by an artist, one very cool group of artists that could pull something like this off is Chim Pom. (Note: I am not suggesting that they did do this, I just think they are a group that could do something like this).

Chim Pom pulled off a very cool public "guerrilla installation" where they added a section referring to the Fukushima nuclear disaster to Taro Okamoto's mural "Myth of Tomorrow" which is diplayed in Shibuya Station. I found a great description of the unaltered mural written by Shane Sakata for The Nihon Sun:

Taro Okamoto (1911-1996) was a citizen of the world whose much lauded abstract mural “Asu no Shinwa” (Myth of tomorrow) mural depicting the horror and destruction of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be unveiled to the public in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward on November 17th 2008.

This massive work was Okamoto’s largest, measuring 30 meters in length and 5.5 meters high, and was originally commissioned in 1967 by a Mexican property developer. The piece was displayed in the lobby of a luxury hotel until the developer had financial troubles and was forced to sell the hotel in 1969. Myth of tomorrow subsequently went missing and was not found until 2003.

After being returned to Japan, Myth of Tomorrow was displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo from April 27, 2007 to April 13, 2008. The piece was then dismantled and moved to a corridor linking the Shibuya stations of the JR and Keio Inokashira lines where it will remain on permanent public display starting on November 17th, 2008.

More on Chim Pom can be found on their website. It looks like they are facing legal action for defacing the mural, although their work did not damage the original. They filmed their exploits at Shibuya Station, which can be seen here:

Chim Pom also filmed a video one kilometer from the damaged nuclear power plant. In it, they paint a Japanese flag to look like a nuclear symbol.

This video art by Chim Pom is featured in part 3 of the web series Japan Rising:

Art, while being peaceful and respectful, can invoke thought and discussion. I say:

More paintbrushes, less war.

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