Kei Ito is a conceptual photographer working primarily with camera-less image-making, and installation art. Ito earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016, following his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2014.
Ito’s work addresses issues of deep loss and intergenerational connection as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography. His work deals with trauma and legacy passed down from his late grandfather, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and a later anti-nuclear activist, in relation to current threats of nuclear disaster. Ito’s artworks lead the audience on a journey from grief and remembrance to hope. Through his ritualistic image-making, the audience sees how he grapples with his family’s historical connection to nuclear weapons and power. Thus, Ito’s art serves as an intermediary, a memento of his grandfather, and his own experience in today’s nuclear climate.
His recent exhibitions include: Afterimage Requiem at the Baltimore War Memorial funded by the Rubys Artist grant, an art billboard project in NYC funded by 14x48.org art billboard organization, Only What We Can Carry, a solo show at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC, a solo exhibition hosted by Noorderlicht in the Netherlands, and he is one of the participants of 2018 FOTOFOCUS Biennial in Cincinnati. Ito’s works have been collected by major art institutions including: The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL; the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL; the California Institute of Integral Studies/Chroma in San Francisco, CA; En Foco in the Bronx, NY; and the Nikon Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.