In 2015 LA Art Show, from Jan. 14-18, Toshimitsu Ito (center in this photo) of Hiroshima brought his work (flight) “AA 60” (2012, wood, stone, 406 x 412 x 160 cm), a large airplane-shaped wooden sculpture, to Los Angeles Convention Center.
“AA 60” consists mainly of Douglas fir imported from the U.S. to Japan in the 1930s, which survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.
The Douglas fir lumber was first imported to Japan in the 1930s, and in 1941 it was used as the beams in the gymnasium construction of the then Hiroshima Higher Teacher College (currently Hiroshima National University)
On August 6, 1945 when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the gymnasium was located only four kilometers from the ground zero.
The window glass and roof tiles of the gymnasium were blown away, but the building remained standing. The building was repaired and remained in use for nearly half a century until it was dismantled in June 1955.
In the late 1990s, Hiroshima City University professor Ito was given one of the beams. After keeping it for a dozen years, Ito used the timber to create this huge sculpture.
The theme of “AA 60” is the landscape of the American Southwest.
Instead of a traditional painter’s frame, Ito uses the figure of the American Airlines’ airplane which actually brought him from Narita, Japan to Dallas, Texas in 2012.
The scenery includes the desert and cacti of Arizona and the mesas of Texas as seen from an airplane window.