K e i    O t a 


location | Kyoto, JP
AIR December 1-31, 2021

open the door to
move through the


Through a multidisciplinary approach of drawing, painting, video and performance, I am interested in the weight and physical nature of memory—specifically from a bicultural identity as a first generation Japanese immigrant in the US and as a former ballet dancer of sixteen years. The disparity between the body and mind, and the disparity between two different cultures has created a sense that I am a ghost floating between these worlds. I’m interested in investigating the power of the visual image as bodies in space and in relation to the viewer, through the lens of belonging and memory, between past and present.


Kei Ota (b. 1988) was born in Osaka, Japan and grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. In 2013 she received her BFA from New York University with a concentration in Painting. Her multidisciplinary practice explores the ontology of her experiences as a first generation immigrant and a former ballet dancer of sixteen years. She has shown her work in New York, Japan, Sweden, and Germany and recently completed a residency at End of Summer in Portland, Oregon. In 2018 she relocated from NYC to Kyoto, Japan where she lives and works. She is currently an 2023 MA candidate at Kyoto University of the Arts.