U. G. Sato
Produced for the 1995 JAGDA Peace and Environment Poster Exhibition
The Nuclear Age began 65 years ago this month, during World War II, when President Harry S. Truman ordered nuclear bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On Monday, August 6, 1945, "Little Boy", the world's first nuclear bomb, was dropped over the central part of Hiroshima, Japan. The uranium-based detonation exploded about two thousand feet above the city with a blast equivalent to 13 thousand tons of TNT. On Thursday, August 9, “Fat Man,” a plutonium bomb, was detonated over Nagasaki. These two events are the only active deployments of nuclear weapons in a war. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians
The poster of the week was produced for the 50th anniversary of the bombing. It was made for a poster exhibition sponsored by the Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA). The JAGDA Peace Poster Exhibition was inaugurated in 1983 as a way of promoting peace through the medium of the poster. Since then it has continued, both in Japan and overseas, to hold exhibitions of posters with a message created by association members under themes including peace, the environment, World Heritage and Japan.
The featured poster text says, "I'm here." The ruined building was the closest building to ground zero—only a few meters away—to remain standing following the bombing. Designed by the Czech architect Jan Letzel in 1916, it was the city's Industrial Promotion Hall. In 1966 it was made a UNESCO World Heritage site over the objections of the U.S. and China. It is known by several names: the Hiroshima Dome, A-Bomb Dome, or Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Featured Artist: U. G. Sato was born in Tokyo in 1935. After graduating from Kuwasawa Design School in 1960, he established Design Farm in 1975. His works have been exhibited worldwide, including group shows and several solo exhibitions. His first U.S. exhibition took place in 2002, when the Center for the Study of Political Graphics produced, East West Graphics of Resistance--Posters of U.G. Sato (Japan) and Lex Drewinsky (Germany) at the Art Galleries of California State University, Northridge. This award winning artist has also initiated emergency Fax-Art campaigns. In 1995 he organized an anti-nuclear poster fax campaign in Paris and Tokyo to protest nuclear testing in the Pacific by France. In response to the United States military action against Iraq in 2003, he organized an anti-war poster fax campaign with Japanese artists.