Saturday, February 2, 2013

Restoring the firestormed Hokusai wave mural

i find it an eerie synchronicity that pretty much exactly one year after the tragic tsunami events of 3.11 in japan happened that a mural depicting a large harbour wave print by the celebrated japanese artist Hokusai gets damaged in a strange illegal meth lab explosion (with disastrous results too for the tragic amateur scientist that waz apparently hoping to make some quick cash from his homemade street drugs experiment,=life threatening 3rd degree burns and then prison, ouch!)
the mural before the blast
 and after... 

luckily the London Mural Preservation Society (run by Ruth Miller) , New Leaf (Vinnie Oconnell) and Dominic Swords (original resident painter of the mural) were able to step in and with the help of other local artists and enthusiastic volunteers get to werk restoring the celebrated piece of local culture to its former glory. free paint waz cleverly sourced from Dulux's "Lets Colour" scheme ( that aims to make the werld a more joyous place by providing paint to people free of charge so they can beautify their local buildings with nice bright colours. 
 the original print by Hokusai
all systems are GO! restoooorre!!!
the 1st day of painting went well, endless cups of tea kept us bizzi with putting on a fresh basecoat of white 'Weathershield' masonry paint (no trouser lifting or 3rd nipple showing involved); altho some parts of the slightly crumbly wall still require repointing at this stage  (that means filling in the little gaps between the bricks with cement for the non-DIY lingo speakers). mid way thru a lovely reporter lady from the South London press turned up to take some werk in progess photos of the brave volunteers and artists shivering in the bitter winds (the shivering movements actually help us paint faster with increased brush rotation speed)
we saw a beautiful bright red, yellow, orange and purple shining view of a multicoloured sunset from the top of the scaffold by the time evening came around which felt like our Good Karma treat for volunteering on this project.

at this point we had to bee dragged off of our painting tower since after we had finally startid slopping the paint on it felt hard to stop (even tho health and safety apparently forbids painting in the dark for some reason; ...they never taught us that at graffiti school! lol) 
a random half japanese/half samoan photography student turned up saying she waz almost crying due to ireland losing to wales at the rubgy match and seeing this mural getting lovingly restored totally made her day and changed her mood from sad to happy, we invited her up and she also joined in with the painting telling us how she had seen this project documentid on Youtube while she waz in Japan but never knew where it waz- and then somehow magically found it, and then us painting it.. serendipity strikes again!

the rest of the painting will bee completed in the next 2-3 weeks; artic gales/snowmageddon storms permitting ...

(people/groups involved in the project)
The finished mural restoration 

the recent real tsunami in japan triggered a series of nuclear disasters at Fukushima that are in a continuous state of danger. there is widespread anger there and here at the nuclear industry for building 53 nuclear power plants in a notoriously earthquake prone region... on the 9th of March there is a march of solidarity/remembrance of regarding the current nuclear contamination situation.

  • (Japanese description below/日本語呼びかけは英語の下にあります)

    Two years will pass since THE DAY.

    We would like to ask you to join us to march in London, to mark the 2nd anniversary of the ongoing Fukushima disaster, in international solidarity with people in Japan and for a nuclear-free world as Japanese expatriates and as UK/world citizens.

    We would like the all the governments to abolish nuclear power generation, to prevent the further release and spread of radioactive materials, to implement policies to protect people's health and lives and to uphold citizens' rights to engage in social activities and free speech.

    We are deeply concerned that radioactive contamination from the nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that started on March 11 2011, has been spreading across Japan.

    The nuclear tragedies in Chernobyl and Fukushima have taught us that despite the guise of 'peaceful use', the destruction caused by a nuclear power disaster would be similar to nuclear war. Japan is the most earthquake prone country in the world and, currently, is in a very active seismic phase.

    Nuclear catastrophe in Japan would lead to long-term worldwide radioactive contamination. There is no safe method to dispose of nuclear waste. Using nuclear power means passing a burden to our children and their descendents. In addition, throughout the nuclear fuel cycle from uranium mining to decommission and waste storage, nuclear energy relies heavily on the sacrifice of workers who are exposed to radiation as they carry out these tasks. Given the deadly long-term toxicity of radiation released to the environment through use of nuclear energy, it must be said that nuclear power is both extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Nuclear power is not welcome in Japna, in the UK, and anywhere in the world.

    Japanese Against Nuclear, Kick nuclear and CND are calling all the people in the UK to join the march, vigil, and the public meeting explained below:

    ** Saturday 9 March: SOLIDARITY MARCH
    Assemble 12 noon at Hyde Park Corner for solidarity March to Parliament
    with rally there, in Palace Yard, at 2.30pm

    ** Monday 11 March: Candle-lit Vigil
    5.30 - 6.30PM, outside Japanese Embassy
    (101 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7JT)
    (nearest tube: Green Park)

    ** Monday 11 March: Public Meeting
    7.30 - 9.30PM, in the House of Commons

    Organized by:Japanese Against Nuclear UK (JAN UK), Kick Nuclear, and CND

    Fukushima2013 draft resources as of now
    * Web draft:
    * Facebook draft:
    * Poster draft:
    * Leaflet draft:

and a random photoshop pixel painting to round the evening off back at home....


  1. Question: Is that book you're holding ( a guide of London murals by any chance?

    1. Oh no its not, its actually an exhibition guide all about Hokusai and his wave image from a semi-recent show at the British Museum..

      Why do you ask?

    2. I see, thanks for answering.
      I was just after a guidebook or something of the sort of London murals and thought that might me a good one.

    3. ah, yes= try contact Ruth Miller who runs this > she would have some great advice on mural guidebooks im sure- she also runs walking tours of some of the fantastic murals of London.


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