Massive 3/11 painting goes to Kobe


A massive watercolor painting of the March 2011 disaster that hit the Tohoku region will go on display for 11 days starting March 20 at the Design and Creative Center Kobe.

The painting, a poignant of the megaquake and tsunami that hit the region on March 11, 2011, claiming some 18,000 lives, has had little chance to be exhibited because of its dimensions: 5.4 meters high and 16.4 meters wide.

The work, “Disaster-hit Areas Covered in Snow,” has been displayed three times in the lobby of Sendai Mediatheque. The Kobe exhibit will be the first time it is shown outside of Sendai.

Kobe and its surrounding areas were also ravaged by a powerful earthquake on Jan. 17, 1995, that left more than 6,000 people dead.

The painting, by Hiroshige Kagawa, 36, of Sendai, depicts a tsunami-hit warehouse amid a snowy background. Kagawa, who was born in the Zao, Miyagi Prefecture, in 1976, began making massive paintings after graduating from Tokyo’s Musashino Art University in 2001.

He said he made the painting to convey a sense of loss after the disaster. “I’m very happy as the huge painting will be displayed in Kobe, which will probably show the greatest sympathy about the grief being suffered by people in Tohoku and their hopes for reconstruction,” he said.