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2022

OBJECT AS WITNESS

Unique c-print photograms (found object, sunlight, artist's breath)

Various size

Object as Witness: Fountain Pen & Bullet

2022

C-print (pen, bullet, sunlight, objects), fountain pen, WWll-era bullet

8”x5”x5.5”

Object as Witness: Fountain Pen & Bullet epitomizes my personal history, generational heritage, and the resonant echoes of human experience, encapsulated within seemingly ordinary objects.

 

The fountain pen, a cherished artifact once wielded by my late grandfather, an impassioned anti-nuclear activist, stands as a silent testament to his unwavering dedication to documenting the harrowing aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing. Used meticulously in the creation of numerous books and writings, this pen remained undisturbed since his passing in 2000, untouched through the years, nestled within the decaying remnants of his former dwelling, until its recent rediscovery, unseen for over two decades.

 

Opposite this familial relic rests a WWII-era bullet infused with my own hair, a symbolic encapsulation of my heritage, intertwined through both ancestral DNA and historical actions. This bullet embodies multifaceted narratives—representing not only the cataclysmic event of the atomic bomb but also harkening back to the history of my fifteen-year-old grandfather's involvement in ammunition production during the war and even at the moment of denotation of the A-bomb in Hiroshima, a narrative mirrored in countless others.

K

E

I

 

I

T

O

2022

OBJECT AS WITNESS

Unique c-print photograms (found object, sunlight, artist's breath)

Various size

Object as Witness: Fountain Pen & Bullet

2022

C-print (pen, bullet, sunlight, objects), fountain pen, WWll-era bullet

8”x5”x5.5”

Object as Witness: Fountain Pen & Bullet epitomizes my personal history, generational heritage, and the resonant echoes of human experience, encapsulated within seemingly ordinary objects.

 

The fountain pen, a cherished artifact once wielded by my late grandfather, an impassioned anti-nuclear activist, stands as a silent testament to his unwavering dedication to documenting the harrowing aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing. Used meticulously in the creation of numerous books and writings, this pen remained undisturbed since his passing in 2000, untouched through the years, nestled within the decaying remnants of his former dwelling, until its recent rediscovery, unseen for over two decades.

 

Opposite this familial relic rests a WWII-era bullet infused with my own hair, a symbolic encapsulation of my heritage, intertwined through both ancestral DNA and historical actions. This bullet embodies multifaceted narratives—representing not only the cataclysmic event of the atomic bomb but also harkening back to the history of my fifteen-year-old grandfather's involvement in ammunition production during the war and even at the moment of denotation of the A-bomb in Hiroshima, a narrative mirrored in countless others.

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© 2023 by Kei Ito.
Created on Editor X.

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Sungazing

2015 - Ongoing

108 of 8”x10” prints, Scroll: 12” x 150’ to 220’ depending on the edition

On August 6th 1945, at 8:15 AM, my grandfather witnessed a great tragedy that destroyed nearly everything in Hiroshima. He survived the bombing, yet he lost many of his family members from the explosion and radiation poisoning. As an activist and author, my grandfather fought against the use of nuclear weaponry throughout his life, until he too passed away from cancer when I was ten years old. I remember him saying that day in Hiroshima was like hundreds of suns lighting up the sky.

 

In order to express the connection between the sun and my family history, I have created 108 letter size prints and a 200 foot long scroll, made by exposing Type-C photographic paper to sunlight. The pattern on the prints/scroll corresponds to my breath. In a darkened room, I pulled the paper in front of a small aperture to expose it to the sun while inhaling, and paused when exhaling. I repeated this action until I breathed 108 times. 108 is a number with ritual significance in Japanese Buddhism; to mark the Japanese New Year, bells toll 108 times, ridding us of our evil passions and desires, and purifying our souls.

 

If the black parts of the print remind you of a shadow, it is the shadow of my breath, which is itself a registration of my life, a life I share with and owe to my grandfather. The mark of the atomic blast upon his life and upon his breath was passed on to me, and you can see it as the shadow of this print.

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