Artists-in-Residence (AIR) Program Fall 2019 Yukiyo Kawano

Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence

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Yukiyo Kawano

Portland, OR
​➔ yukiyokawano.com

Yukiyo Kawano is a third-generation hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) who grew up decades after the bombing of Hiroshima. Her work is personal, reflecting lasting attitudes toward the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kawano received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art in 2012. Since then, Kawano has exhibited her work in the US, Japan, and Australia. Kawano has given lectures at Aspen Institute in Tokyo; Portland State University, Portland, OR; Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA; Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME; among many other venues. She has appeared on radio shows such as OPB Radio, Portland, OR, and 3CR Community Radio, Melbourne, Australia. Kawano has received numerous grants, including the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant in 2012; a Regional Arts and Culture Council grant in  2016; and The Oregon Arts Commission in 2017. Since 2016, Kawano’s project Suspended Moment has been selected by New York Foundation of the Arts’ fiscal sponsorship program. She will be an Artist-in-Residence at Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) in February/March 2019. Kawano currently lives in Portland, OR.


“My work is a direct response to the tragedy of the past, but the past I depict wants to remember the present. People say my work is like a dream; it is not meant to deliver certainties. It asks us to remain in the present, so that we can develop a new relationship of mind and body, confront the ongoing deceptive rhetoric that surrounds us, reject violence, and save ourselves from our own extinction.”


  • FatMan (after Matsuo Basho), 2016, kimono, foam, wood, hair, ink, fermented persimmons dye, metal wire, 13 1/2 x 8 x 8 feet. The actual size of Fat Man, A-bomb, dropped on Nagasaki in August 9th, 1945. The piece hangs from the stand using a rope. All the pieces are sewn with hair. As installed in Suspended Moment at REACH Museum (Hanford-Tri-City), 2016.

  • Column of The Floating Lanterns, 2016, paper, ink, stones, thread, 8 feet x 7.5 inches x 7.5 inches. A paper lantern that was used in From Hiroshima To Hope memorial event (Green Lake, Seattle). These lanterns are the symbols of the souls once floated (letting go by the participants of the event) on the lake and brought back by the volunteer members on the same night. As installed in Suspended Moment at Littmen, Portland State University, Portland, OR, 2016.

  • Little Boy (folded), 2011, kimono, bamboo, ash, hair, ink, baisen mordant dye, 8 feet x 24.5 inches x 24.5 inches. A construction/fiber sculpture forms the shape of Little Boy, A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6th, 1945. All the pieces are sewn with hair. As installed in Suspended Moment at Littmen, Portland State University, Portland, OR, 2016.

  • FatMan (after Matsuo Basho), 2016, kimono, foam, wood, hair, ink, fermented persimmons dye, metal wire, 10 x 5 x 5 feet. Fat Man (after Matsuo Basho) is completely covered in excerpts from “Narrow Road to The Deep North.” 奥の細道 —the journal written by the Haiku Master Basho in 1689. Basho’s trip to the “Narrow Road to The Deep North” included modern day Fukushima, Japan. As installed in Suspended Moment at Littmen, Portland State University, Portland, OR, 2016.

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.