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Exhibition — The Art of A Good Life in Hell by Ai Tatebayashi
August 3, 2016 - October 4, 2016
CRS announces Light in Darkness, an exhibition of original art (watercolor, ink, gouache, and graphite on paper) from the illustrated book A Good Life in Hell by Ai Tatebayashi. A Good Life in Hell is an illustrated book that tells the life stories of Sumiteru Taniguchi, a Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor (hibakusha in Japanese), and his wife Eiko. Their shared history offers both a stark look at the horrific legacy of nuclear weapons, as well as a tale of inspiration for all those facing challenges as they pursue meaning and happiness in their own lives.
The exhibition will be on view from August 4 – October 4, 2016. An Opening Reception with the artist with live reading of the book will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2016 from 4 – 6 pm.
A Good Life in Hell contains important lessons about the past, but it is even more about living in the present. Exploring daily rituals in the Taniguchi home as Sumiteru and Eiko enter their 80s, a reader must reflect on how today’s decisions can affect our collective and personal futures—for better or for worse.
ARTIST AND INSPIRATION
Ai Tatebayashi, the artist and author of A Good Life in Hell, first learned about Sumiteru Taniguchi from a Japanese TV show. She quickly realized that most people, especially younger Japanese adults like her, knew nothing of the everyday suffering of atomic bomb survivors.
Sumiteru’s words drove her to initiate this project:
“I am not afraid of death. But I am afraid of oblivion. Oblivion of the fear of the atomic bomb.”
Ai met with Sumiteru Taniguchi and his wife Eiko several times, both in New York and in Nagasaki. She recorded stories of their past and observed their daily life.
Creating striking original illustrations—some luminous and beautiful, others dark and bleak—Ai depicted scenes inspired by the couple’s long journey together with richness and depth. She enlisted Justin Neely as co-writer to collaborate on story development and research, as well as to capture her ideas and her voice in written English with nuance and precision.
A Good Life in Hell is currently available for purchase online at www.agoodlifeinhell.com, Lulu.com, and Amazon.com. A Japanese translation published in July 2016 as「生きているかぎり語り続ける」by Shufunotomo Co. (www.shufunotomo.co.jp) is currently available only in Japan.
ABOUT AI TATEBAYASHI
I am from the city called Yokohama, Japan. Since Yokohama developed as a major seaport, Western style quickly spread and was embraced by Japanese culture. I grew up influenced by the modern western environment, enjoying looking at Norman Rockwell’s posters, illustrated American pin up girls, and so on, which stimulated my interests in American culture. After working at an advertising agency in Japan, I came to New York City for an intensive study of illustration. At the School of Visual Arts, I developed my linear drawing style and sense of color. People’s feelings or characters are important for my work. I love observing people and drawing them with my unique view and sense of humor. In Japan, my major was French literature in Rikkyo university. I still love to read. This reading leads me to continue to explore different cultures and worlds. In turn, this helps me to introduce the views of others through my illustration. — Ai