Child of the Atom, 2010

Video & installation

Manga Artwork: Inko
Camera: Claire Barrett
Voiceover: Rachel Piper

With thanks to Tomoko Nishizaki of Hiroshima Film Commission

'There is a familial myth that my late Grandfather would not have survived being a Japanese Prisoner of War had the atomic bombing of Hiroshima not occurred. So it could be argued that I owe my existence to one of the most terrifying events of human history and the death of 110,000 people.'
- David Blandy

This family lore regarding David Blandy's grandfather, held as a POW in Malaya and Taiwan from 1942, provided the genesis of Blandy's solo exhibition, Child of the Atom. Generated by an underlying guilt about his own and also his daughter's existence, Blandy's film documents their visit to Hiroshima to literally and symbolically search for their 'origins'. 

Installation View at Seventeen Gallery, London of 'Child of the Atom', David Blandy, 2010
Dimensions Variable, Single Channel Video

The installation in the main gallery space displayed artifacts, ephemera, novels, comics and toys that examine some of the manifestations of the bombings in global popular culture. The installation was comprised of an amalgam of images found in the film, the entry area was be furnished with tourist information and maps, with an amateur museum dedicated to A-bomb related memorabilia. This library of references was dotted with Child of the Atom merchandise, including an arcade stick, where the Seimitsu clear bubble joystick doubles as a mushroom-cloud hovering over a map of Hiroshima, positing Blandy's constructed character as a fiction amongst other pre-existing narratives.

This artwork has been realized with the generous support of the Daiwa Foundation and Arts Council England

The installation was reimagined for the exhibition, 'Emotional Supply Chains', at the Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2016.

Installation View: David Blandy, 'Child of the Atom', Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2016 Photo Credit: David Bebber

Installation View: David Blandy, 'Child of the Atom', Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2016

Photo Credit: David Bebber

Emotional Supply Chains was curated by Paul Luckraft, Curator: Exhibitions, Zabludowicz Collection.

Zabludowicz Collection

Review in Postmatter

Review in Time Out London