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Urasoe art exhibition being widely criticized

Date Posted: 2009-04-16

An art exhibition featuring works from artist Nobuyuki Oura is drawing criticism from Okinawa Prefecture Museum, despite the fact it is taking place in its own museum in Urasoe City.

The exhibition, which features post-World War II art in Okinawa, has several titles, including ‘Atomic Sunshine in Okinawa’ and ‘Japan Peace, the Ninth Article of the Constitution’. Originally staged in New York in January 2008, and in Tokyo last August, the exhibition centers on art and engravings of the Showa generation’s Japanese emperor, the atom bomb mushroom cloud, and women’s bodies and bed put in a collage.

Fourteen engravings by Nobuyuki Oura are in the exhibit, as well as a piece of art not previously shown in any museum. The Prefecture Board of Education and the Prefecture Museum director have said “Please do not exhibit these arts”, noting “our policy is fairness and neutrality, and these works do not have like ideas.” The Museum said “we look at total means, but it doesn’t mean we will deny any artist freedom of works.”

In Toyama Prefecture on the mainland, Prefecture Assembly members and other party officials prohibited the Museum of Toyama Prefecture the right to show the exhibition. Artist Nobuyuki Oura says “this action denies freedom of work for artists.”

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