I have painted hundreds of pictures exposing the horrors of war-dead people and ruined cities. This time I wanted to paint something that is very relevant to our daily life today. I entitled my book, "The Neutron Bomb." Some people call it, "Clean Bomb." That seemed funny to me and caused me to laugh. Can any bomb be clean? The pictures in this book are painted solely for this book and dedicated to the cause of peace. They represent an epitome of my forty years of artistic career. I began with the primitive and ended with the visionary, a kind of history of art.
What is Art? Art is a kind of inexplicable heavenly beauty. It is everything movable and immovable, past, present and future, it is the wholeness of all things. It is the mixture of the artist's knowledge, experience, feelings. There is nothing nobler than art. All bow before art. It is a necessity for the majority of men. It ennobles life. A nation is great to the extent its art is great and by its artistic gift to mankind. Original art is music, painting (sculpting), poetry (literature) and architecture which is called petrified music and the secondary or combined arts are opera, ballet, philosophy, drama, circus, cinema, the theater and decorating, etc. They are all expressions of a whole entity we call art. Art is not photography, a representation of things as they are in nature. Nature, mountains, valleys, the universe, the animal and plant world all together make one sculpture. It is true that a realistic reproduction of things as they are is capable of having a moving, stimulating, emotional impact. They are loved and appreciated by some people but these are partial and inferior. They do not express creative imagination. Art, although difficult to distinguish from craftsmanship and science, is something altogether different. You have to study it, be openminded and feel it.
According to Greek mythology, Zeus created the fire but did not give it to man lest he should misuse it. He warned Prometheus, his son, not to reveal the secret to man. Prometheus did not heed the warning. He stole it from the gods and gave it to man. Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a mountain and sent a vulture to tear and gnaw at his liver everyday, but at night, the liver grew again. Man used the fire to create the gun powder to split the atom and the atom into neutron. He joined the neutron to create the hydrogen bomb and such barbaric weapons. The hydrogen bomb is 1,600,000 times more powerful than the atom bomb, "The Fat Man," that fell on Hiroshima in 1945.
It is true that our forefathers had their armories of bows, arrows, spears, stone hatchets, but they were nothing compared to weapons of today that are capable of destroying 15 times every living being on earth. The leaders of our world think the only way to peace is to be militarily strong. But the truth is that they want to rule the world. To that end they are creating newer bombs, neutron bombs, and other destructive missiles and stock-piling them not only on ground but also in underground tunnels, in space, and underwater. There is really no place to hide any more.
It is more than 15-20 million years that man has been on earth but his character has not changed much. We still kill, we still fight and then we call ourselves civilized.
It is time to stop making massive destructive weapons. We already have enough of them to destroy every human being on earth 15 times. U.S.A. alone is spending $100,000 every minute on atomic weapons. All governments and nations should work for disarmament and peace just as U.S.A. and the Soviet Union jointly stopped the production of poison gas and germ warfare weapons. That is the first step toward disarmament if we wish to conserve life on this planet. The U.S.A., the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, China, India, Italy, Argentine, Israel and other nations already have piles of destructive atomic weapons. But the mass of these weapons are in the possession of U.S.A. and the Soviet Union. It is they who sell them to other nations. It is these two nations that are causing great and small wars throughout the world. They are like parents who can't get along. Their children run sometimes to father and sometimes to mother manipulating them to get their way. And parents manipulate the children for their own security and gain. We have reached a stage that it has become extremely hard to control small nations. Some nations have to change their policies and return lands that once belonged to small nations.
The world has become a Tower of Babel. No one understands what the other is saying. The time has come not to resort to violence and warfare in order to propagate our ideas. The way to solve our problems and differences is the way of friendly discussion around the table. Of course, it is not possible for nations who differ from one another in their forms of government and culture to think alike and to act alike. It will be more helpful first to stop hunger and poverty. Second, they must have freedom to work and have security. Third, there must be freedom of self determination, speech and religion. We must not use nationalism, religion, the party ideology, military and economic power to impose our will on others. We must not worship man and money. Fourth, guarantee secondary education and security of life for all men in all parts of the world. It does not matter under what label these things are accomplished as long as we obtain them.
From Genghis Khan to Hitler, men have tried to rule the world with might and conquest. They have failed and it has only led to their own and their nation's destruction, and the destruction of millions of innocent people. Religion, nationalism, the party, instead of being something sublime and holy to enable and refine man's character, have become mighty tools in the hands of the military. They have made money their god. The worshippers have been led astray. They who do not follow them have been punished by war and destruction. They forget that before being nationalists, ideologists, and party men, they are human beings. The Australian proverb says, "The duck ate the worms, man ate the duck and the worm ate the man." That's the way it goes from generation to generation. Life becomes nothing but a mental and corporal expression of physical and chemical action and reaction. Death begins with the day we are born and pursues us throughout our lives. It unites all of us at the grave. Everything is transient, except land, water, air, the sun, good works, labor and fine arts. The military men, drunk with arrogance and power, armed with atomic weapons, are incapable of foreseeing their destiny. Some seeing all these have given themselves to fanaticism, sexual promiscuity, crime, dope, drunkenness, pleasure, fantacies about life after death, reincarnation. These things have led them only to dissillusionment. Some have hastened their entrance into the Eternal Kingdom by suicide that has changed from being a personal affair to mass murder. But we ordinary people see where our military leaders are leading us. Weapons are in the hands of a few, but we, the people, are able to organize, speak and write and force them to listen to us and demand of them to stop their warring mentality. Of all the government spending for war purposes, at least two percent of that amount should be used to open colleges and academies for peace. Instead of warring for personal and collective gains, let them disarm and fight together to clean the air, land and water of polution. Let them fight against hunger, poverty and disease. Let them fight for the preservation of human, animal and plant life. Let them exploit the oceans, the sun, the moon, the planets, the stars. These are immense sources of energy and wealth. Before a global nuclear holocaust explodes, and before this beautiful fertile earth of ours is reduced to a vast graveyard, let the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union sign the SALT Treaty. But that is not enough. There is need for permanent peace and mutual understanding and mutual respect.