• Double Run Eight

    Double Run Eight takes its name from a moving image camera from the Slemmons collection: a Bell & Howell Filmo series 8mm camera. As a double 8 format, the camera runs 16mm size film through one way, exposing one half of the frame on the first pass. The roll is then flipped and run back through again, this time exposing the other half of the frame. The final processed film is split down the center and ends up as an 8mm roll.

    The exhibition features a projection that reinterprets the mechanisms of the double 8 camera by keeping the film at 16mm width. The film plays with visual collisions and inversions of the resulting four frames, rearranging the image plane with forwards, backwards, and radial motion as the artist’s body activates, holds, and navigates propositions of the analogue image. The projected original negative will degrade over time, accumulating scratches and dust throughout the duration of the show.

    The accompanying gelatin prints are created using Kodak 16mm enlarger camera from the collection designed to rephotograph 16mm frames onto 120 still photography film. The translation from negative to positive becomes an inherent marker of the analogue process, and the visual and temporal shift of the photographic frame a reminder of the fundamental connection between the still and the moving image.

    The film is shown as a 16mm loop projection, as part of "Double Run Eight," a solo exhibition for the Chicago Cluster Project at Epiphany Center for the Arts.
    September 9 - October 22, 2022

    Double Run Eight black and white double 8 film projected as 16mm, loop installation

    & gelatin silverprints made from 16mm enlargement negatives
  • Serenity of Less

    Group show at Research House for Asian Art | October 6 -29,2023
    Curated by YoungSun Choi

    "This group exhibit features four Chicago Asian American artists, Dabin Ahn, Kioto Aoki, Myungah Hyon, and Aya Nakamura whose work share a collective economy of style that is calm, relaxed, and peaceful in both aesthetic and concept. Where less becomes more, not maximalist chaos but a minimalist poetic and a certain quietude exuding a simplicity while focusing on craftsmanship, materials, and process."

    逆立ち / Handstand (2023)
    silver gelatin print, 8"x10" (top) 11"x14" (bottom)

    Signature Bun (2023)
    Unique photogram hung at artist bun height, silver gelatin print. 5”x7". Ongoing series

    En Cuerna (2023)
    silver gelatin print, 5”x7”

    8.875 (2022)
    16mm red leader, measured to artist's height at 213 frames. Edition of 8.
  • Breathe, Fibres of Papers Past

    Solo exhibition at the International Museum of Surgical Science | *exhibition guide*
    March 12 - June 13, 2021

    The International Museum of Surgical Science is housed in a four-story landmarked Chicago mansion built in 1917 for socialite and philanthropist Eleanor Robinson Countiss as a family home. The design for the mansion was inspired by the Le Petit Trianon chateau on the grounds of Versailles completed in 1770, which Eleanor had visited during her travels to Europe. The fortune to fund the construction of the home was provided by her father, John Kelly Robinson, an executive at The Diamond Match Company. The Diamond Match Company was founded by Eleanor’s grandfather George Barber in Ohio and became the largest match manufacturer in the late 19th century.

    The mansion was later acquired from the family in the early 1950s by the International College of Surgeons (ICS) founded in 1935 by surgeon Dr. Max Thorek and headquartered next door. The goal of the ICS was to promote a global exchange of surgical knowledge. Initially conceived as the ICS Hall of Fame, the museum eventually expanded to become a repository for its growing collection of historically significant surgical instrumentation, artworks and manuscripts from surgeons, collectors and institutions.

    Together with Dr. Solomon Greenspahn, Dr. Thorek founded the American Hospital primarily to support low-income patients in 1917 – the same year the Countiss Mansion was completed. His professional endeavors are chronicled in his autobiography, A Surgeon’s World. Dr. Thorek was also an accomplished photographer, participating in photography salons worldwide. He published two photography books, Creative Camera Art (1937) and Camera Art as a Means of Self-Expression (1947), detailing the technical aspects of the paper negative process and aesthetic concerns of the Pictorialist photographer.

    Breathe, Fibres of Papers Past begins with an homage to these two historical narratives and continues throughout the four floors of the museum. The exhibition responds to these intertwined histories by engaging objects from the museum’s permanent collection, which include original blueprints of the mansion and a variety of medicinal and photographic material. By pulling together varied physical and textual sources, Aoki reveals the layered architectural, historical, and haptic relationships that compose a place.

    Diamond Tin Series - photographs of Countiss Mansion created with artist-made Diamond Tin pinhole camera. gelatin silver prints

    Anatomy Of - sectional cyanotypes created from original 1916 architectural drawings of the Countiss Mansion

    Appears to Be - series of sequential images where exposure is determined by the number of breaths taken, ascending from one to twelve. Frames created by former respiratory therapist Steve Ducklow. gelatin silver prints

    photograms on x-ray film
    digital projection 16mm film

    Sightline Siteline - Panorama photographed from mansion rooftop with Henry Clay Camera, belonging to IMSS permanent collection. gelatin silver prints

    Signature Bun - photograms of artist hair hung at artist bun height. Gelatin silver prints & artist hair.

  • Sixth Planet from the Sun

    Two-person show at LVL3 | January 22 - March 6,2022

    In Sixth Planet, Kioto Aoki and Pamela Ramos explore the physical and relational nature of photography. As artists, they each approach the tangibility of light and its workings, as it navigates and decays across space. Both their practices nurture a careful examination of site-responsive encounters, as they pertain to time and the material body. Aoki unpacks the very notion of what it means to collect, document, and recall one’s life through the photographic process. The artist exposes the realities of the daily routine as a series of romantic possibilities. Ramos’ work depicts and aims to demystify set definitions of the self and the other. Through symbiotic decay, one may uncover the lasting impressions of close, interpersonal bonds. By reimagining forgotten objects and material Ramos reclaims context and authorship in anonymity. In Sixth Planet from the Sun, Aoki and Ramos walk viewers through a soft haze of nostalgia, prompting deliberate and sentimental considerations of the self and the everyday.

    Understand (2022) - silver gelatin print on ceiling, mirror & wood on floor

    Not a Realist (2020) - silver gelatin print stereograph card with stereoscope

    LVL3 LVL3 (2022) -  lumen print of 4"x5" b/w negative photographed in the LVL3 space, exposed on darkroom paper through the duration of the show.

     左手 (Left Hand) (2022) - gelatin silver print, 8.5 ”x 10”

    Right HandMasukake (2022) - gelatin silver print, 9"x12"

    Signature Bun (2022) - gelatin silver print, photograph of bun hung at artist bun height 5"x7"

    test print print(2022) - gelatin silver print takeaways, edition of 22, 5.5” x 7” 

  • Sonorous Admittings

    Sonorous Admittings is a sonic landscape that accentuates the taiko drum’s most fundamental and captivating element: acoustic resonance. The simple phrasing played by the artist on the odaiko (larger taiko) and smaller shime taiko enunciate the textural and tonal shifts of assonant sound between silence, and recreates what it feels like to play the odaiko and be completely surrounded by thunderous reverberations.

    Commissioned by Experimental Sound Studio for the Sonic Pavilion Festival, a series of 30-channel sound installations for the spatialized overhead trellis loudspeaker array at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion. The result is an immersive canopy of sound—a fluid sonic architecture that bridges the focus of a live performance and the majesty of the surrounding cityscape. Sonic Pavilion Festival is developed by Experimental Sound Studio and is presented by Millennium Park and the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

    taiko, 20 minutes
    August - September 2021
  • frame, remnants, inflections

    In Flux: Chicago Artists and Immigration is a continuation of the Living Architecture project presented by 6018|North. The exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center responds to the current political climate to highlight how Chicago was built with immigrant labor, particularly in the arts.

    First opened to the public as the Reference Room in 1897, the Exhibit Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center featured windows along two sections of the east and west walls. The windows on the west wall have since been bricked in and their remaining silhouettes become latent images of the past. The photographs acknowledge the history of the exhibition space, documenting the interior and exterior views of these gallery walls and calling attention to what once was. The images also recall various meanings of the frame, as a space that can define or defy the conceptual, physical, architectural, historical, geographical and photographic borders: a place of mobility.

    frame, remnants, inflections (2020)
    20x24 inches
    gelatin silver prints
  • Hairpin Mfg. Co.

    Photograms using namesake "Hump Hair Pin" & "No.900 Liberty Belle Hair Pins " from the early 20th century Chicago-based Hump Hairpin Mfg. Co., patented in 1903. Exhibited at the former offices (through 1947) of the Hump Hairpin Mfg. Co., built by business founder Solomon H. Goldberg. The building is currently and art space, aptly named The Hairpin Arts Center.

    No. 900 (2020) 12x36 inches | unique edition of 3 [entire box used between three prints] gelatin silver prints

    Hump Hair Pin No. 3 (2020) 5x7 inches | unique edition of 30 gelatin silver prints


    Made for 思考回路•Shikoukairo II: Patterns of Thought.

  • あずりピン•ホール // pin•whole

    Pinhole series photographed in the Tokachi Region of Hokkaido, Japan. Focusing on local community members, pinhole cameras were made from materials and objects available in the subjects' workspace and photographed with on-site.

    In the Hokkaido dialect the word azuru / あずる implies the notion of a struggle. The title alludes to the improvisational nature of resourcefully crafting cameras that did not always yield the desired result; as well as the creation of itinerant darkrooms that were a vital part of the project experience.

    Sponsored in part by Asian Improv aRts Midwest and the Tokachi International Cultural Exchange Center as part of the Chicago Obihiro Exchange Project, initiated to cultivate international dialogue between contemporary artists from Japan and Chicago.

    gelatin silver prints
  • Stay this way, facing the light

    Two-person exhibition with Daniel Hojnacki at Apparatus Projects

    "Daniel Hojnacki and Kioto Aoki seek to complicate photography’s often explicit relationships to memory, loss, visual legibility and light. Hojnacki and Aoki’s work engages deeply with photographic history and materiality in order to challenge assumptions about the finitude or descriptive quality of an image as a window into some other place or some other time. complicates photography’s often explicit relationships to memory, loss, visual legibility and light. Hojnacki and Aoki have developed a set of images that seeks to reintegrate a critical intimacy into the way we view a photograph: hands grasping at nothing, a flower that only blooms at night, negatives propped against a nightlight, and photographs of loved ones since gone. These images set the scene for a conversation about photography’s role in shaping our memories, desires and contradictions by translating a picture not only through our eyes, but through a gentle choreography interweaving surface, body, and light."

    gelatin silver prints, night light, lumen prints

    images courtesy of Daniel Hojnacki
  • Acuities

    Series for which the photographic methodology is governed by the inherent mechanism of the 4x5 field camera. During the actual moment of image-taking, film is placed between the lens and the ground glass, obstructing the view of the compositional frame. Using my hands to activate the landscape at this particular moment of limited visibility, the result is a series of aleatory compositions. The notion of visual acuity is redefined through the conceptual framework of hand-eye coordination.

    gelatin silver prints
    2019 ongoing
  • Shibori // 絞り

    Fabric cyanotypes playing with dual meanings of the word shibori.

    Shibori or 絞り染め is one of the oldest Japanese indigo dye processes dating back to the 8th century, and involves folding or squeezing the fabric to create patterns. The name comes from the Japanese word shiboru, meaning to wring. In Japanese, shibori is also the word used for camera aperture. The cyanotype images are made by grasping the fabric in the manner of the shibori technique, showing the gradual enlargement of the hand aperture.

    Cyanotype on organic Japanese cotton
  • move fast, evaporate

    gelatin silver prints
    5.5 x 14 inches
  • Duet in C(amera)

    Film loop and photography installation. Projectors activated by sensors as viewer enters the space, enabling the viewer to be instigator of one layer of movement.

    16mm film loops
    gelatin silver photographs, printed from segments dance-movement film

    Low Residency MFA Show
    Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Dual Enframe

    Projection installation of Dual Enframe for Projections after Dark at Roman Susan

    Chicago, IL | 2018
  • Living Architecture at Lubeznik Center

    frame, columns, inflection(2019)
    Artist books that respond to the architecture of the installation space, highlighting the three supportive columns. Each column was photographed from four rotating vantage points, mirroring the movement of the body as one interacts with Shotgun. Each column has its own set of images photographed using a large format camera and the artists’ hand-made pinhole camera. Large format cameras were once the standard for architectural photography and the pinhole was used to photograph the original iteration of the work at 6018|North. The resulting books are folded in a way that structurally mimics the quadrants of Shotgun, the Duchampian door piece by First Office.

    frame, ways, inflections(2018)
    16mm, b/w, silent
    digital floor projection

    Second iteration of Living Architecture at Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City IN
    October 30, 2019 - Jan 4, 2020
  • Living Architecture

    Site specific film and book installation at 6018|North for Living Architecture, a large-scale, multidisciplinary exhibition highlighting the influence and impact of immigrant artists on Chicago.

    Inspired by architect Bernard Cache's notion of inflections and acknowledging the lineage of architectural photographer Idaka Yuichi, the film activates two existing works at the gallery: "Shotgun" by First Office located in the basement and Vlatka Horvat's "Door to Door" on the second floor. The piece is installed as a projection in the closet, behind Horvat's piece of all the doors from the building. The books are pinhole images taken and installed in the stairwells, as a way to activate the space visitors pass through to go from the basement doors to the closet projection.

    frame,ways,inflections | 2018
    digital projection of 16mm, b/w, silent

    frame,wells,inflection | 2018
    archival inkjet artist books
  • After Uematsu Keiji

    A reinterpretation of Japanese conceptual artist Uematsu Keiji's 1973 work Vertical Position, where the human body functions as units of measurement to create an architectural column. The artist is in a handstand on one side, standing straight up on the other. Installations at Chicago Artists Coalition & Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago and Gallery Kouei in Obihiro, Japan double-sided inkjet accordion book, length determined by height of installation space 2017 - present
  • Hand Held

    A book that reiterates the act of reaching, looking and holding.

    handbound book, edition of 3
    archival inkjet print
  • Inkjet Hands

    Edition of 9, 2017
  • Close

  • Concentric Cycles

    Archival Inkjet Accordion