Winner of Hiroshima Art Prize, Doris Salcedo, feels humbled by Hiroshima

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, 55, was awarded the 9th Hiroshima Art Prize at a ceremony held at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art on July 18. The prize, established by the City of Hiroshima and other entities, is given to contemporary artists who have contributed to peace in the world.

Based in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, Ms. Salcedo creates works of art that grow from her interactions with family members of victims of civil war in her country as well as victims of violence and discrimination around the world. Sharing their sorrow, she imbues her work with a wish for peace. Ms. Salcedo, an internationally-known artist, creates sculptures using old furniture or clothes, large-scale installations, and other works.

Receiving the certificate of merit from Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, Ms. Salcedo said that she feels greatly humbled by Hiroshima, which rebounded from the depths of despair.

The art museum will hold an exhibition of Ms. Salcedo’s work, including “Plegaria Muda” (“Silent Prayer”), which expresses the idea of caskets and rebirth with numerous desks that have been placed in piles. Her work quietly conveys the memories and suffering of victims of violence.

Established in 1989, the Hiroshima Art Prize is awarded once every three years. To date, nine people, including Issey Miyake, a Hiroshima-born fashion designer, and Yoko Ono, an artist living in the United States, have received this award. Ms. Salcedo is the first artist from South America to win the prize.

(Originally published on July 19, 2014)