contemporary art

Hiroomi Ito

Japan 1970


Hiroomi Ito
Hiroomi Ito
May 29, 2015

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.

The Master of Japanese Painting

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.

contemporary art
Hiroomi Ito – Unlimited Desire, 2009

Hiroomi Ito’s Fusion of Modern and Traditional

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.

contemporary art
Hiroomi Ito – Whether I believe in God I cannot be determined (detail), 2015

Unlimited Desire in New York

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.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015The Chrysanthemum and the SwordJanKossen Contemporary, New York, NYSolo
2013Magic Room of ZEITZEIT FOTO SALON, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2011The dish which I cannot eatLa CERVERINAD’ART, Cervera, SpainSolo
2010Delicartessen09Gallery Esther Montoriol, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2008The flavor of the art Zenbu Gallery, Barcelona, SpainSolo
2007Visualize the flavorful pleasure_x000D_Fuji Gallery, Osaka, JapanSolo
2007Japanese ArtistsZunbu Gallery, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2007Crossing - Exhibition exchange of Japan and Korea_x000D_Museum of Culture of Kyoto, Kyoto, JapanGroup
2006The flavor without the pleasureFuji Gallery, Osaka, JapanSolo
2006Crossing - Exhibition exchange of Japan and Korea_x000D_Changwon gallery, Changwon, South KoreaGroup
2005The flavor of the art Fuji Gallery, Osaka, JapanSolo
2002The flavor of the art - Exhibition of Thesis doctorateMuseum of Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2002Art Festival and Kanda kneadMatsuou, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2000Like waterMuseum of modern art of Toyoshina, Nagano, JapanGroup
2000The landscape for the rain  O Gallery, Tokyo, JapanSolo
1999A fragment of the daily lifeGallery Yokohama, Gallery Bellini, Yokohama, JapanSolo
1997Exhibition JujuGallery Yokohama, Gallery Bellini, Yokohama, JapanGroup
1995Where a lot of people live Gallery Aries, Tokyo, JapanSolo