SOAS University of London

Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London

One Thousand Cranes, One Thousand Hopes

One Thousand Cranes, One Thousand Hopes
An installation by Yozo Hirayama

Date: 4 August 2015Time: 10:30 AM

Finishes: 22 August 2015Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Japanese Roof Garden

Type of Event: Exhibition

In respect of the events 6th and 9th August 1945, forever remembered as the dates atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The 3,000 cranes included in the installation here were made by the artist, visitors to the roof garden and other members of the public asked to contribute over the past 3 months, included are around 1,000 cranes sent from Japan and other countries.

One Thousand Cranes
One Thousand Hopes

In Japan we have a cherished tradition of
1000 paper cranes.
In a time of pain and sorrow,
in search of a hope we make the cranes
It is a kind of silent prayer

We make cranes with any paper.
No special skill involved.

We start with a perfect square which requires neat folding
and suddenly a crane appears.

One thousand is a symbolic number for eternity.

I remember my mother teaching me how to make a crane.
While I struggled, her cranes were always very beautiful.


Four years ago Japan experienced
a great Earthquake and Tsunami
followed by the meltdown of  Fukushima nuclear reactors
which contaminated a vast area around.

The country which had suffered two atomic bombs;
at Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
should have been able to avoid this disaster!

This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
It is horrific to think that
some countries still produce nuclear weapons of destruction
in pursuit of power over others.

We already have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the Earth.

No war justifies the destruction
of our planet!

Thank you for the support and enthusiasm of the Brunei Gallery, SOAS  for this project and for the many contributions of paper cranes from friends and strangers in London, Japan and other countries who all live in the hope of a world without wars 

Yozo Hirayama, 2015