The works of Keiichi Ito (Tokyo,1950) represent a sense of will and eternity. According to Ito ‘an existence of sense of will has a strong connection with people who also hold life. Its eternity is a breath of hope that would become a vitality for tomorrow.’
Ito’s subjects are nature and artifacts that passed through time. Artifacts are the opposite of nature but through the sharing and passing of time with people, he feels the sense of will and its eternity in them.
Ito prints his photographs on washi, a traditional sort of paper made from the fibres of the gampi tree. He purchases the paper in the city of Echizen, where it is handmade by artisans with techniques that have been passed on from one generation to the next for 1500 years. Because the paper is not suitable as photo paper, Ito treats it with a special emulsion. His prints are either platinum palladium prints or toned gelatin sliver prints.
The prints of the series Tanemaki Sakura (2013) exhibited at IBASHO are all platinum palladium prints. This series is a tribute to the century old cherry trees - ‘sakura’ in Japanese - that have a protected status and are attributed with special stories.
Ito places his subjects in the centre, he sometimes tilts the image and plays with shadow and light. He also uses longer exposure times to capture the passing of time resulting in deliberate partly blurry photographs.
This series was exhibited at the International Photo Festival BredaPhoto in 2014.
(Sources: artist’s statement and ‘Songs from the Heart’, catalogue of BredaPhoto 2014)