ATOM Project Honourary Ambassador Karipbek Kuyukov shares his art, urges global nuclear disarmament in Tokyo

September 24, 2019

TOKYO – The ATOM Project Honourary Ambassador Karipbek Kuyukov recently shared his message of nuclear disarmament, exhibited his artwork depicting the horrors of nuclear weapons and met with survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in Tokyo.

Kuyukov is one of more than 1.5 million victims in Kazakhstan of 459 nuclear weapons tests by the Soviet Union at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site. The site was shut down in 1991 by Kazakhstan’s First President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, but not before Kuyukov’s parents and many others were exposed to those tests. Kuyukov was born without arms as a result.

Karipbek has since become a renowned artist and internationally recognised disarmament activist. He has been the Honourary Ambassador of The ATOM Project, a global civic initiative launched by Nazarbayev in 2012 to garner global support to permanently end nuclear weapons testing and achieve a nuclear-weapons-free world, since 2012.

Many of Kuyukov’s paintings capture the images of the living victims of nuclear weapons testing and the horrors of nuclear weapons use. Those paintings were exhibited at Sept. 19 “Kazakhstan-Japan: Path to a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World” conference at the United Nations University in Tokyo.

The exhibit also included two of his latest paintings devoted to the atomic bombings in Japan.

The painting titled “Hiroshima” depicts a child watering a single plant among the ruins after the explosion.

Kuyukov said he is honoured to share his paintings that depict the suffering of nuclear-weapons-testing victims.

Kuyukov said he was particularly honoured to show his work in Japan, a country that knows first-hand the horrors of nuclear weapons.

“Pictures help me show pain and demonstrate my vision of the world as a victim of nuclear tests and thereby, stir emotions in people. Paintings related to the anti-nuclear movement are always of particular interest to the public,” he said recently.

Kuyukov also met in Tokyo with the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings as well as senior Japanese government officials and Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Japan Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev.

Nagasaki Representative Office Chief in Tokyo Hisato Mitsutake thanked the conference organisers on behalf of Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue for their efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons and strengthen global security.

“Nagasaki, which has gone through this test, expresses its sincere wish that may Nagasaki be the last city on the planet, where the atomic bomb was dropped. There are still nearly 14,000 nuclear warheads in the world and the global situation on nuclear weapons is extremely uncertain,” said the Japanese official.

Kuyukov arrived in Tokyo after touring the United Kingdom where he presented his artwork and disarmament message to parliaments and other officials.