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Kei Ono


Born in 1977 in Kyoto, Japan.
Live and works in Tokyo.


2001 Graduated from Ritsumeikan University, Department of Economics
2003 Graduated from Visual Arts Collage Osaka, Department of Photography

Solo Exhibitions

2014 NEW TEXT, PLACE M, Tokyo
2013 NEW TEXT, 72 Gallery, Tokyo
2012 NEW TEXT, Visual Arts Gallery, Osaka
2011 Youthful Blue, Nikon Salon, Osaka
2010 Youthful Blue, Nikon Salon, Tokyo
2006 The Glare of Youth, Visual Arts Gallery, Tokyo / Osaka / Nagoya / Fukuoka

Group Exhibitions

2014 Japanese Eyes, In)(Between Gallery, Paris
2006 26th Photography “Hitotsubo Exhibition “, Guardian Garden, Tokyo
2003 Fuji Photo Salon the New Face Prize, Fujifilm Photo Salon, Tokyo / Osaka


NEW TEXT, AKAAKA Art Publishing Inc, 2013
The Glare of Youth, Visual Arts / SEIGENSHA Art Publishing, 2006


2014 “Society of Photography”Prize
2006 Visual Arts Photo Award, Grand Prix
   26th Photography “Hitotsubo Exhibition” Prize
2003 Fuji Photo Salon the New Face Prize, Prize for Encouragement


I began taking photographic portraits of high school students in 2002.
Sympathizing with their fragile existence, pure yet reckless in nature and appearing on the verge of breaking, I feel a strong desire to capture them on film.
I visit the places where they live and photograph them individually, facing them through the camera lens. This comprises the whole of my photographic work, which I have continued doing for twelve years now.

Beginning in 2004, I advertised for models in magazines and handed out fliers. I corresponded with high school students who contacted me at the email address which I placed on the ads, and set up shooting dates. Later, I switched to Web sites to invite high school students to be photographic models. As of 2015, I mainly invite students on Twitter and Facebook.
I have just continued photographing everyone who wishes to be photographed. As a result, I have met and photographed about 600 high school students in the twelve years I’ve been working as a photographer.

Through such work with high school students in the city and countryside who live in a world of increasingly shared information, I feel that they are each begging for someone to acknowledge their existence. And my thoughts are that I want to glimpse more deeply the Japan of the present, and of the future.

Kei Ono