The Maruki Gallery preserves memories of wartime atrocities and other forms of violence through the exhibition of the Hiroshima Panels. Iri and Toshi Maruki who jointly produced a series of 15 paintings opened the Gallery in 1967 hoping to capture visitors' imagination and eventually prevent similar atrocities and invigorate people suffering in different contexts. This project will create virtual tours and footage to offer similar experiences to anyone around the world, present and future.
The Maruki Gallery offers peace education for school groups and resources for academic research on non-nuclear art and the social role of art. At the moment, it is necessary to physically visit the Gallery to see the works and feel the messages of the Marukis as virtual tours or digital archives are not yet available. Since April 2020, physical visits to the Gallery have become difficult due to the spread of COVID-19, and the Gallery is finding it difficult to share the unique works it holds.
Creating virtual tours and a series of videos will make the Marukis' works and the Gallery itself accessible to people all over Japan and the world for the first time in the Gallery's history. Due to the remote location of the Gallery, it can be challenging for people to visit. This project will not only preserve the Gallery for peace education, it will also enable new demographics from around the world to be immersed in the works of the Marukis and be inspired by their universal message.
The Hiroshima Panels were one of the first works of art in the world to resist the coming of the nuclear era and it captured the imagination of the public. The Marukis started with depictions of the Hiroshima bombing, but the subject of their works diversified as they sympathized with and gave a voice to those most vulnerable to structural violence. This project will create a series of videos on the Marukis' works and their history, which will serve as a global tool for peace building.