“I wanted to draw something gigantic,” says artist Hiroshige Kagawa, recalling the utterly simple reason he began working in such large-scale. His first large watercolor painting in 2003 was about 10 ft x 23 ft, but in the 12 years since he’s been working – at a pace of about 1 painting per year – his works have grown by about 5-fold.
Kagawa’s older works tended towards the celestial and fantastical: solar systems and imaginary planets or forests. You can see them on his website. But in 2011, when the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Kagawa’s response was drastic and immediate. His latest work, unveiled in August of 2014 is “Fukushima,” a massive watercolor painting that clocks in at about 17 ft x 54 ft. It depicts TEPCO’s Daiichi Nuclear Reactor.
Based in Sendai, Kagawa, after the disaster, decided to dedicate his paintings to remembering what had happened. Since 2011, he’s created 3 large-scale works that are based on interviews and on-site studies conducted by walking around the affected areas.
Kagawa’s paintings were most recently on display earlier this year at Design Center Kitto in Kobe.
(artwork titles were translated from Japanese to English by the author)