Hiroomi Ito is a Japanese artist, who uses traditional materials and techniques that echo the style of ancient Japan to tell a modern, contemporary story.
Hiroomi Ito was born in 1970 in Tokyo, Japan. Interested in traditional Japanese culture and heritage, Hiroomi graduated with a BFA in Japanese painting at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music, in 1996. Two years later, he got his MFA in the same field, again at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music. In 2002, Hiroomi Ito earned his PhD, with his dissertation titled Taste of Art, followed by solo exhibition under the same name.
In 2001, Hiroomi Ito was awarded with the Prize of Nomura, for his work that later became his doctorate graduation thesis. Most of his artworks are being held in the collection of the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music.
As a distinguished and admirable master of Japanese painting, Hiroomi Ito belongs to a small group of artists that still produce their own pigments and canvases, which they later use while creating the art pieces. Hiroomi uses color pigments that are produced out of natural dyes and minerals. For canvas, the artist makes his own fine rice paper. It is not unusual for Ito to use uncommon materials for the painting – some of the materials include gold and silver leaf, uncooked Japanese bread-like food paste, or roasted tea. Each of these ingredients that construct the image carry a specific symbol and meaning.
Although the style of Hiroomi Ito’s paintings aesthetically belongs to the style of traditional Japanese masters, the content and the message of his art is highly contemporary. Through his art, Hiroomi express concerns about Japan’s modern society and infrastructure. The artist questions the impact that modern culture has on one of the backbones of Japanese culture – the traditional family structure. Along with this, he investigates whether or not the pride associated with belonging to an old culture is disappearing in his native society.
Unlimited Desire represents Hiroomi Ito’s most important series to this date. Inspired by 15th century European masters of still life paintings and their representation of the natural world, Ito depicts dishes typically found in Asia. Each of the elements that construct the image carry its specific meaning and symbol – whether it’s the gold that represents wealth of the family, or the steam generated by the cooking fire which represents the ability and the strength of family members. The series is produced with an idea to explore a common dichotomy in modern Japanese psyche – refusal of cultural roots and loss of the pride of being Japanese.
Paintings from the Unlimited Desire series has been exhibited at Hiroomi Ito’s first solo show in the United States. Titled The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, the exhibition was held at JanKossen Contemporary in New York.
Hiroomi Ito currently lives and works in Barcelona, Spain.
|2015||The Chrysanthemum and the Sword||JanKossen Contemporary, New York, NY||Solo|
|2013||Magic Room of ZEIT||ZEIT FOTO SALON, Tokyo, Japan||Group|
|2011||The dish which I cannot eat||La CERVERINAD’ART, Cervera, Spain||Solo|
|2010||Delicartessen09||Gallery Esther Montoriol, Barcelona, Spain||Group|
|2008||The flavor of the art||Zenbu Gallery, Barcelona, Spain||Solo|
|2007||Visualize the flavorful pleasure_x000D_||Fuji Gallery, Osaka, Japan||Solo|
|2007||Japanese Artists||Zunbu Gallery, Barcelona, Spain||Group|
|2007||Crossing - Exhibition exchange of Japan and Korea_x000D_||Museum of Culture of Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan||Group|
|2006||The flavor without the pleasure||Fuji Gallery, Osaka, Japan||Solo|
|2006||Crossing - Exhibition exchange of Japan and Korea_x000D_||Changwon gallery, Changwon, South Korea||Group|
|2005||The flavor of the art||Fuji Gallery, Osaka, Japan||Solo|
|2002||The flavor of the art - Exhibition of Thesis doctorate||Museum of Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music, Tokyo, Japan||Solo|
|2002||Art Festival and Kanda knead||Matsuou, Tokyo, Japan||Group|
|2000||Like water||Museum of modern art of Toyoshina, Nagano, Japan||Group|
|2000||The landscape for the rain||O Gallery, Tokyo, Japan||Solo|
|1999||A fragment of the daily life||Gallery Yokohama, Gallery Bellini, Yokohama, Japan||Solo|
|1997||Exhibition Juju||Gallery Yokohama, Gallery Bellini, Yokohama, Japan||Group|
|1995||Where a lot of people live||Gallery Aries, Tokyo, Japan||Solo|