Date/Time
Date(s) - January 18, 2023 - April 2, 2023
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Location
Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, University Center for the Arts


Kei Ito
The Beginning, in the land around me

Presented in partnership with the Center for Fine Art Photography

The Griffin Foundation Gallery, January 18 – April 2, 2023

Kei Ito: The Beginning, in the land around me is a solo exhibition featuring the work of multi-media artist Kei Ito. The five individual projects presented span work Ito completed between 2020–2023 that converge on and center around his own nuclear heritage as a third generation hibakusha—atomic bomb victim—and expand Ito’s exploration of and research into the American nuclear experience. The exhibition surveys the experiences of “downwinders” (a person living downwind of a nuclear test site or reactor) and creates an environment to discuss the shared pasts and traumas both hibakusha and downwinders have suffered at the hands of nuclear weapons, all that goes into their creation, as well as issues surrounding health, environmentalism, and our current global system of war and peace.

These projects occupy the gallery and stand as witnesses to our shared histories. The gallery becomes a monument to both the past and the present and asks the questions: has war ever ended and is the price for peace the same as that for wartime?

 

Kei Ito's Burning Away (2020-ongoing). Image courtesy of the artist.
Kei Ito, Burning Away, 2020-ongoing, silver gelatin chemigram (sunlight, honey, various oils), 100 x 41 x 1 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the artist:

Kei Ito is a Japan-born visual artist working primarily with camera-less photography and installation art who is currently teaching at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC. Ito received his BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology followed by his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Ito’s work addresses issues of deep intergenerational loss and connections as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography. Ito’s work, fundamentally rooted in the trauma and legacy passed down from his late grandfather—a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima—meditates on the complexity of his identity and heritage through examining the past, current trajectories, and visualizing the invisible such as radiation, memory and life/death.

By excavating and uncovering hidden histories connected to his own, Ito utilizes his generational past to use as a case study for contemporary and future events. Many of Ito’s artworks transform both art and non-art spaces into temporal monuments that became platforms for the audience to explore social issues and the memorials dedicated to the losses suffered from the consequences of those issues. Within these intertwined pasts, Ito shines a light on power and its relationship to larger global issues that often led to and result in both war and peace alike.

Ito has participated in a number of Artist in Residence programs nationwide including the Studio at MASS MoCA (2021), the Denis Roussel Fellowship at the Center for Fine Art Photography (2021), and the Center for Photography at Woodstock (2019). His internationally-recognized solo and group exhibitions can be read in reviews and articles published by the Washington Post, Hyperallergic, BmoreArt, ArtMaze Magazine, and BBC Culture & Art. His works are included in major institutional collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Norton Museum of Art, Chroma at California Institute of Integral Studies, and the Eskenazi Museum of Art.

 


Kei Ito: The Beginning, in the land around me is presented in partnership with the Center for Fine Art Photography.

Support for this project and related programming has been generously provided by the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, the FUNd Endowment at CSU, and with support from Colorado Creative Industries. CCI and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Fort Fund