Artist Processes Nuclear Explosions through Video and Photography

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Center for Fine Art Photography in Collaboration with Night Lights Denver presents ‘Aborning New Light’ by Kei Ito. 

Exhibition Dates: July 1 – July 31, 2021

The Center for Fine Art Photography: 321 Maple St., Fort Collins, CO


5:29 AM on July 16th, 2021 is the 76th year anniversary of the first nuclear explosion that blazed into existence in the early morning skies of Los Alamos, NM. Center for Fine Art Photography and Night Lights Denver presents, Aborning New Light, a video installation made by visual artist Kei Ito and is constructed out of declassified nuclear testing footage. Ito, a third-generation atomic bomb victim – hibakusha, reprocessed the footage from tests done on American soil as thousands of separate photograms, using sunlight to remake each frame before re-compiling them into video. In this installation, the videos are played in reverse, the explosions shrinking instead of expanding. Houses, school buses, and mannequins are reconstructed before our eyes while time counts down to a period before nuclear weapons and their extreme proliferation across the globe. 

The full-length video will be projected on the Daniels and Fisher Tower (through a collaboration of the Center and Night Lights Denver) at the exact moment of the bomb’s birth, July 16th, 5:29 AM, as a memorial to its creation, a cautionary tale, and a remembrance of all of those affected by its existence. A shorter version can be viewed for the full month of July 2021 from the hours of 9 pm-11:59 pm.


Kei Ito is a Japan-born visual artist based in the East Coast area who primarily works with camera-less photography and installation art. Ito received his BFA from Rochester Institute Technology in 2014 and MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016. He is currently teaching at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC.

Ito’s work addresses issues of deep intergenerational loss and connections as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography, specifically the idea around visualizing the invisible such as radiation, memory, and life/death. His work, rooted in the trauma and legacy passed down from his late grandfather – a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima meditates on the complexity of his identity and heritage through examining the past and current threats of nuclear disaster and his present status as an US-immigrant.

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