In 1992, Magdalena Abakanowicz began the series Hand-like Trees (1992–2004) as a sculptural response to her unrealized Arboreal Architecture. A public petition requested Abaka-nowicz to be commissioned to produce a permanent work in Hiroshima, Japan, as a memorial to the victims of nuclear destruction. She proposed a hand-like tower, poised as if to catch the bomb in the exact place where it exploded, 640 meters above sea level. This project was never carried out due to worries it might offend the sensibilities of hibakushas — surviving victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There was worry that it might be perceived as too aggressive. In response, Abakanowicz created Space of Becalmed Beings (1993), a monument of 40 silent, seated bronze backs. They form a permanent installation on the terrace of the Contemporary Art Museum of the City of Hiroshima.
Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) was a Polish sculptor and creator of fiber art. She often worked around sculpture, installation and textile. A sense of fluidity and possibility manifests itself in Abakanowicz's works as they shift from rigid and rectangular to more organic shapes. Curved sculptures sliced open like carcasses accompany objects that remind us of the artist’s lifelong obsession with the natural world.