T.S. Eliot at Ground Zero: Professor Bruce Herman and Colleagues Take QU4RTETS to Hiroshima

Now in Hiroshima: QU4RTETSa traveling exhibition featuring paintings by Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman, an original piano and string quartet composition by Christopher Theofanidis, and theological reflections by Duke professor and pianist Jeremy Begbie. Hiroshima was the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear weapon.

The collaboration between artists and musicians grew out of a dinner-party conversation in Manhattan in 2009, when several friends discovered that they all took deep enjoyment and inspiration from a common text: T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, a monumental poem acknowledged as one of the masterpieces of the twentieth century.

As text on the Fujimura Institute website explains: “Four Quartets is relevant to our own cultural moment because of its powerful testimony to the grace and vision of the Gospel message in a multicultural milieu. In Eliot’s vision all hinges upon the ‘still point’ where the human experience of time evokes wonder, fear and longing for continuance and redemption, and where Christ’s presence is the pivotal point for the entire Creation.”

Since the spring of 2013, the exhibit has made stops in a number of American and international cities. Following two weeks in September at the University of Hong Kong, QU4RTETS has a new temporary home, from October 28 through November 19, at Hiroshima City University. A special opening event on the evening of November 12, “Eliot at Ground Zero,” featured the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra.