Chihiro Ito JPN
NEW FLAG FOR NEW PEOPLE 2020
Video performance, 5:16
Direction, Painting, Performance: Chihiro Ito
Camera: Mica Scalin, Dolly Winter
Edit: Mica Scalin, Chihiro Ito
People all over the world have suffered under oppression from divisive politics and an infectious disease. Beneath this, it is difficult to see an image of hope in life. Through “New Flag for New People”, Chihiro Ito suggests the perspective of a brighter future under a flag that everyone can fly. After many months of painting in isolation, the author longed for new ways to connect with people through his art. He made large paintings and flew them like flags in several iconic locations in NYC, a city believed to embody cultural diversity and human connections. The flag paintings feature a motif of fresh vegetables, a symbol of health and radical positive energy for all humans. The gesture of waving an art canvas as a flag outdoors in public space was not only symbolic – it was also an attempt to reconnect with the humane through this conceptual performance.
Chihiro ITO is a painter and media artist from Japan. His works involve documentary and improvisational elements, consistently and poetically asking questions about humanity/sociality and covering the subjects/identities of “myself,” “now” and “here.” Ito graduated from the Musashino Art University in 2004. Since then, his art has been exhibited in Japan and in Europe. He also collaborated with Japanese poets and experimental theatre artists. In 2018, Chihiro Ito travelled to New York with a Japanese government grant. There, he encountered Jonas Mekas and began to focus more on video and poetry production. His films have been honoured with more than 30 cinema awards. Ito currently lives and works in New York, where he continues to research Fluxus, which was a strong influence on him.