The cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami off Japan's northeastern Honshu coast on March 11, 2011, and the resulting nuclear disaster in Fukushima, are the subject of Andres Barrioquinto's new painting, Tyrant Destroyer.
The destructive power of Hokusai's iconic wave looms large at the top of the painting, as does the Tyrant represented by Godzilla, another Japanese icon. Chrysanthemums, soil and other elements glow with radioactive contamination, while falling toys symbolize a washout of material possessions.
In the midst of despair, Barrioquinto has nevertheless chosen to be inspired by a project to grow fields of sunflowers that could decontaminate the radioactive soil and offer ordinary folk a way of rejuvenating the infected region.
The rays of the Japanese sun and the sunflowers radiate over the central portrait of a smiling child, her golden eyes gleaming with enthusiasm. She is the epitome of hope, her energy emanating from her youthful vitality and vigor.
A fighting Samurai, on guard to protect the land, challenges the Tyrant, as his huge wall of seawater charges ahead like white horses galloping ashore. A Rubik's cube hovers above the child's mind as the present conundrum which must be dealt with effectively.
Above the impenetrable stability of a white mountain range, a new skin of hexagonal elements regenerates rapidly, showing that the strong will and indomitable spirit of a battered nation will prevail, the wishes of a thousand origami cranes will be fulfilled, and the Tyrant destroyed.
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