Afterimage Requiem is a large-scale visual and sound installation by Kei Ito and Andrew Paul Keiper that probes the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and their intertwined family histories. It was exhibited at the Baltimore Memorial in January, 2018.
The installation includes 108 human-scale photograms made using sunlight, light sensitive paper and Ito’s body evoking those lost in the bombing, and a 4-channel sound work that portrays the places and processes of the bomb’s production, and includes field recordings made at atomic heritage sites in New Mexico and Chicago.
Ito’s grandfather witnessed the explosion of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima that killed his family, while Keiper’s grandfather was an engineer who contributed to the effort to develop the bomb. Their collaboration grapples with this history while asserting its pertinence to a contemporary audience living in an increasingly unstable political landscape. Ito and Keiper seek mutual understanding while contemplating the roots, sorrow and scope of the bombing. In an era of overt nuclear crisis unlike any seen in decades, Afterimage Requiem asks the audience to reflect on the ramifications of our current course, and to learn from the past.
In 2016, Ito and Keiper received the Rubys Artist Project Grant through the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance to create Afterimage Requiem. The Rubys were conceived and initiated with start-up funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and are a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. Further support for this project comes from Full Circle Fine Art Services.