‘Myth of Tomorrow’ is a big mural, that length is 5.5 meters and width is 30 meters. Taro Okamoto was commissioned the mural by a hotel that was under construction in Mexico City, and painted in1968-1969.
However, the client’s business fell into financial difficulties and the hotel was unfinished, and was acquired by somebody else. The mural was removed then and stored at various places around the country, its whereabouts eventually becoming unknown.
In 2003, Toshiko Okamoto miraculously identified the tragic mural that was discovered in storage in the outskirts of Mexico City.
This mural features an image of the tragic moment in which an atomic bomb explodes. However, it is not simply a picture of the victims. The powerful message contained in this work by Taro Okamoto is that human beings are capable of proudly overcoming even the cruelest of tragedies and giving birth to ‘Myth of Tomorrow’.
Created at approximately the same time as his ‘Tower of the Sun’, this work and the tower were said ‘to form a pair’; it is one of Taro Okamoto’s greatest works and is indispensable in tracing the course of his art, making it extremely valuable. Unfortunately, however, it was abandoned in poor conditions for many years, resulting in it suffering major damage. It was at this point that a restoration project was established within the Taro Okamoto Memorial Foundation for the Promotion of Contemporary Art to ship the work back to Japan, renovate it then place it on display where it could be seen by as many people as possible.
In 2005, the mural was transported to Japan and restoration work started in Ehime prefecture. It was completed by June 2006, ‘Myth of Tomorrow’ was got back brilliance again 37 years after the mural had completed and 3 years after it had been discovered. When it was going on display for the first time at Shiodome in July 2006, it succeeded in attracting approximately two million visitors despite it was only shown there for fifty days.
Next, the work was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) from April 27, 2007 to June 29, 2008. In March of 2008 it was decided that it should be placed on permanent display in Shibuya station and since November 17 of that year, it has been installed in the walkway connecting the rail station with Shibuya Mark City.
Let us introduce about why we bring this installation at Shibuya. There are Ginza-line, Hanzoumon-line, Fukutoshin-line, Inokashira-line, Toyoko-line and Den-entoshi-line stations in this city. People, things and information are all gathered at this area, and it connects people, tradition and subculture and digital and analog. Shibuya has various faces, continues to Minami Aoyama, the holy land of Taro Okamoto, and hands down the people’s thoughts beyond time and space.
Shibuya is the only city to be able to accept Myth of Tomorrow, which gets bigger by absorbing people’s energy and give them its magic power for going to future.
Installing Myth of Tomorrow on the public space and get together with the energy in changing Shibuya, It will get much power and be a one of the greatest cultural symbol in Japan. We are quite sure of it.
Taro Okamoto’s big mural, Myth of Tomorrow is a common property of the people over the world. It tells us about people who is getting over the tragedy, the explosion of atomic bomb, and Toshiko Okamoto calls it “Taro’s masterpiece”.
We will preserve Myth of Tomorrow forever and pass it on to future generations, so that the dignity of humanity, the importance of peace, and the splendor of art and culture, which Myth of Tomorrow appeals, can be widely conveyed both domestic and abroad.
Also, we think Myth of Tomorrow continues to The Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum, Tree of Children for future generations, Pride by Kanoko Okamoto, who is Taro’s mother and Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki with national road 246. So we called it “TARO’s Road” and are going to do symbolic movements which is associated with Myth of Tomorrow for people who live, work, study and play along the road.
Born in Takatsu-mura, Tachibana-gun, Kanagawa prefecture. (Present Futako, Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki-shi)
|1929 (18 years old)||Moves to Paris in France, create many works.|
|1940 (29 years old)||Returns to Japan because of WWⅡ.|
|1968 (57 years old)||Starts making ‘Myth of Tomorrow’.|
|1970 (59 years old)||Creates ‘Tower of the Sun’ ‘Tower of Mother’ ‘Tower of Youth’ for EXPO’ 70.|
Even though he turned 80, he created many works, and died 84 years old.