MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2018
Kei Ito is a US-based photographer and installation artist who graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art ('16) with an MFA in Photography, following his BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology ('14).
Kei's work addresses issues of generational connection and deep loss as he explores the materiality of photography as a medium. His recent work deals with the tragedy and legacy passed on from his grandfather who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, yet died from cancer, and the threat of nuclear disaster which is still present today. His photo based installation take the audience on a journey of grief, remembrance, and hope. Through his ritualistic image-making, the audience may see how his family history grapples with the legacy of nuclear weapons and power. Thus, his art serves as an intermediary between the heritage of Kei's grandfather and todays nuclear climate as a memento.
Kei's artistic vision has been recognized byvarious awards and institutions such as the Manifest One Award(OH), the Rubys Artist Project Grant(MD), the Snider Prize(IL), and Awards for Innovations in Imaging(LA). His works are in the permanent collections of institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and Norton Museum of Art in Florida. His most recent large scale installation project, Afterimage Requiem, has been reviewed and covered by major media outlets such as the Washington Post Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, and BBC World News.