David Blandy Child of the Atom

David Blandy, Child of the Atom, 2010. Courtesy the artist

Ahead of his major solo exhibition Atomic Light opening at John Hansard Gallery in February, we are delighted to present David Blandy’s film Child of the Atom on our Digital Array.

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 Prisoner of War in Singapore and Taiwan from 1942, provides the motivation for Child of the Atom. The film documents Blandy and his young daughter visiting Hiroshima to search, both literally and symbolically, for their origins. It is narrated by the future voice of his infant daughter, describing her memories of the trip. The film shifts between gentle moments between father and daughter, and the dramatic and violent flashback sequences of apocalyptic anime. Working with Manga artist, Inko, these flashbacks include the films’ eponymous hero (the ‘Child of the Atom’) in the animated destruction and aftermath of the bomb.

Child of the Atom (2010) has been a pivotal work in the development of David Blandy’s artistic practice. It was the starting point for a series of works that have culminated in Blandy’s forthcoming John Hansard Gallery solo exhibition, Atomic Light.

Atomic Light opens on 11 February until 6 May 2023.

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