This project was inspired by the postmodern object, a necklace made from broken pieces of Japanese porcelain entitled, “Hiroshima Mon Amour.” The film of the same name was also considered an important piece of inspiration for this project, the film juxtaposed the horrors of Hiroshima with the intensity of love and lust, using the theme of memories and the tragedy of forgetting.
In this project, Laura argues that the Hiroshima atom bomb was a postmodern event itself, and ties in with many dystopian characteristics. “There is an intense distrust of all global or totalising discourses, a rejection of metanarratives...” (Sarup, 1996: 95). This postmodernism project was heavily inspired by art movements created during the 1960s, a time in which the public lost faith in their government and many believed that nuclear war was imminent if they did not protest.
Many political artists of the 1960s used destructive art : “actions to overcome the burden of history and collective guilty associated with the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam and the nuclear threat...” (Serpentine Gallery, 2009) Destruction was cathartic, and this action helped overcome the cultural trauma of horrific modern events. Laura wanted the wearer to be able to empathise with a victim of Hiroshima while wearing her clothes, she tried to imbue them with emotion by looking at clothes which she associates with deep emotions, sadness and feelings of loss.
Bernhard Schobinger used the postmodern principle of bricolage in his work by appropriating found objects and turning them into jewellery, thus changing their meaning. Laura used a kimono and draped it on the stand, then designed from these drapes using nuclear victims as inspiration; she thus took a symbol of Japan and its heritage and subverted it by turning it into a comment on Hiroshima.
Laura wanted the idea of romance to be present throughout; the pain and intensity of love and lust is juxtaposed with the pain of the bomb in the film, ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour,’ and she felt that the power of love and lust can be equal to the power of destruction and have an equally cathartic power. Featured throughout her project are survivors who are finding the beauty in the world, from mourners who wear black for the rest of their lives in memory of their dead husbands, to the ‘Hiroshima Maidens’, disfigured victims of Hiroshima who underwent many reconstructive surgeries to try and rebuild their lives, to Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who developed Leukemia because of radiation poisoning whose story of creating 1,000 paper cranes became a story of inspiration for the Japanese. Laura wanted to juxtapose beauty, dignity and romance with the disfigurement and horror of Hiroshima.