Profile of Initiator

MIRO ITO
artist, author, producer & director

Miro Ito has been involved in media and art projects as creator, producer & director with the artistic aspiration to promote peace and understanding through her own initiatives (Japan Authentic Heritage Initiative and Media Art League). As a photo artist, Ito has held over 30 solo exhibitions in 12 countries and appeared in various notable publications to date.

With one of her images gracing the official poster of the 2006 Venice Biennale–Dance Section, Ito’s crossover work—that transcends the boundaries between cultures and genres — is the outcome of her own spiritual and artistic quest throughout Germany, the U.S.A. and Japan.

Under the theme World heritage of life and prayer, Ito has been working to promote awareness of ancient Eurasian cultural heritage and traditions surving in Japan—to create messages towards lasting peace—focusing on the profound spiritual side of both the tangible and the intangible UNESCO World Heritage which she has been photographing/filming, researching, and writing about in Japan (centred on Nara) since 2005.

Film Production

In 2021 Miro Ito created a 33 min-long film: Nara, Japan’s first imperial capital and the eastern terminus of the Silk Road – a cultural corridor to 1400 years of spiritual tradition, commissioned by Japan's Cultural Agency for the cluster project: Ikasu-Nara Regional Council. She has so far produced/directed, written, and photographed/filmed five film shorts centring on Japan's spiritual traditions as well as some of its most representative cultural heritage that has survived since the 7th century only in Nara.

Her most recent works are:

Asuka Fujiwara—Japan’s ancient capitals where  the Ritsuryō System  and Buddhist Culture first flourished screened at Nara Palace Site Historical Park (Ancient Capital Nara: Tales of Three Capitals series) in August 2023.

Prince Shōtoku: A Beacon of East-Asian Wisdom and Aesthetics, Shining from Antiquity to the Future screened at Mahoroba-kan (Tokyo) under the auspices of Nara Prefecture in 2022.

(See Films page for details)

 

Road of Light and Hope

Supported by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its overseas Embassies/Consulates as well as Japan Foundation, Ito's current globally touring exhibition & lecture series entitled Road of Light and Hope is launched at United Nations Headquarters (New York) in 2016, followed by exhibitions, speaking engagements and screenings as integral parts of Japan’s commemorating ceremonies and events worldwide at renowned 12 venues in 11 countries to date. (See Exhibitions page for details)

 

Signs of the Intangible

Ito’s other ongoing project is Signs of the Intangible that introduces the origin of the performing arts tradition surviving in Japan for 14 centuries as dedicatory performances: from Gigaku, Bugaku to Noh, and even including contemporary dance forms such as Butoh. In January 2023, she published a photo art book Signs of the Intangiblewith new and unpublished works—that also serves as a catalogue to the exhibition, accompanied by the author's newly-written art essays. (See Exhibitions and Books pages for details)

 

Transcending Japan, Germany and U.S.A.

Having studied both in Japan (B.A. in Fine Art History and Aesthetics, Keio University, Tokyo) and Germany (Major: Applied Art and Communication Design (Folkwang University of Arts), Ito embarked on her path as a photo-artist and art pundit both in Germany and Japan.

Subsequently, she has also been active in the USA since 2000, where she held various exhibitions (incl. at Lincoln Center). She has been internationally active since 2016 through her exhibitions/screenings/lectures together with certain Japanese diplomatic missions around the world.

 

♢Solo-Exhibition organisers/co-organisers

Japan Camera Industry Institute (JCII); Nara Prefecture; Embassy of Japan in Peru; Japanese Peruvian Association; National Bardo Musuem; Embassy of Japan in Tunisia; Byzantine and Christian Museum; Embassy of Japan in Greece; National Museum of World Cultures of Mexico; The Japan Foundation, Mexico; Embassy of Japan in Mexico; Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre; Consulate General of Japan in Rio de Janeiro; Rio de Janeiro Post Office Cultural Centre (Japan Month); Consulate General of Japan in Chicago; The Japan Foundation, Toronto; Consulate General of Japan in Strasbourg; Lieu d’Europe (EU); Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan; Permanent Mission of Japan to UN; Canon Group; Association for Commemorative Events of the 1300th Anniversary of Nara Heijō-kyō; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; ACT. JT; The Japanese Cultural Week in Frankfurt, The Summer of Photography, etc.

♢Lectures/symposia/screenings

Nara Palace Site Historical Park (Ancient Nara: Tales of Three Capital: 5 part series), The Industry Club of Japan, Tsinghua University Art Museum (Sense for Beauty Across Two Countries exhibition, Beijing), Nara Prefecture Complex of Man'yo Culture, Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan/Nara Prefecture (Nara-Chrysanthemum Doll Exhibition; Nara -Cultural corridor to 1400 years of spiritual tradition, Nara Prefecture (Otateyama Festival), Nara Silk Road Symposium 2019, Byzantine and Christian Museum (Athens); Northwestern University (Chicago); National Museum of World Cultures of Mexico (Mexico City); Consulate General of Japan in Chicago; The State University of Rio de Janeiro; University of Chicago; DePaul University (Chicago); The Japan Foundation, Toronto, etc.

♢Backer endorsements

National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (2018-2019), Nara Visitors Bureau, Consulate General of Japan in Toronto, Embassy of Japan in Uzbekistan, Association for Commemorative Events of the 1300th Anniversary of Nara Heijō-kyō, Consulate General of Japan in New York, etc.

Official site: mediaartleague.org/en

digital-silkroad-museum.org/en

japan-authentic-heritage-inititative.org/en

(Last update: August 2023)

Photos: National Treasures and Important Cultural Property of Japan owned by Tōdai-ji Temple photographed by Miro Ito
Road of Light and HopePhoto Exhibition of National Treasures and Important Cultural Property of Japan (November 2019, Asociacion Peruano Japonesa)
In commemoration of the 120th -year history of Japanese Immigration to Peru
Co-organised by: Embassy of Japan in Peru, Asociacion Peruano Japonesa, Japan Camera Industry Institute and Media Art League