The Why?s Man

"My art is place specific and people specific." George Wyllie

Back to The Difference of Hiroshima


'...Fifty years on I've become a Scul?tor and that question-mark insists that I'll have to work on this. I'll have to find the link between us and the alien and therefore strange Japanese, severely expressing their precocious national pride with such uncompromising vigour. Somehow, a truth which will be common to all of us will have to be wrested from the absurdities, basic or immense. I have to take myself by the scruff of the neck to attempt this - even declare it.

Why? Because it is deadly to maintain hate. In that different future demonstrated so clearly and so sadly by Hiroshima, we can no longer afford the corruption of hatred. VJ-Day was not so much a victory, but a warning given 50 years ago alerting all of us, to subvert the deadly negative by the equilibrium of all that we feel to be positive.

My positivism will commence at noon next Saturday, and will happen in Glasgow's George Square where the Cenotaph and everyone and anyone can see it. It is not a celebration, not absolution, not atonement. It is possibly a commemoration, and at best the beginning of reconciliation. There will be a simple ceremony at noon on Sunday within the sculptural grid of the streets of my HIROSHIMA... marking VJ-Day.

Dead streets, heat-pulverised granite and charred trees together will form a sad icon and near the cenotaph, chrysanthemums for Japan and Scottish thistles. Fresh flowers offering hope. May there be no more scarred children."

George Wyllie, Monday, 7th August 1995

The Glasgow Herald

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