Kei Ito (b. 1991) is an interdisciplinary installation artist working primarily with photographic media and sculpture. Ito received his BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology followed by his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art.
Ito’s photographs are fundamentally rooted in the trauma and legacy passed down from his late grandfather, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and the loss of many other family members from the explosion and subsequent radiation poisoning. His work meditates on the complexity of his identity and heritage and seeks to visualize invisible forces such as radiation, memory, and human mortality.
By excavating and unveiling hidden histories connected to his own, Ito utilizes his generational past as a case study for reckoning contemporary and future events. Within these intertwined pasts, Ito shines a light on power and its relationship to larger global issues that often lead to and result in both war and peace alike. Many of Ito’s artworks transform both art and non-art spaces into temporal monuments that become platforms for the audience to explore troubling social issues and memorialize those lost to historical and contemporary tragedies. Within his research and photographic processes, he recasts memories of horror and trauma into an oasis of peaceful reflection.
His solo and group exhibitions have been published and reviewed in the Washington Post Magazine, Hyperallergic, BBC Culture & Art, BmoreArt, ArtMaze Magazine, ESSE Magazine and various newspapers worldwide. Ito’s works are included in major institutional collections, such as the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), the Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach, FL), the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art (Fort Collins, CO), En Foco (NYC, NY), and the Eskenazi Museum of Art (Bloomington, IN).
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