Brendan George Ko

Brendan George Ko is a visual storyteller that works in photography, video, installation, text, and sound. His work is about conveying a sense of experience through storytelling and describes the image as supplementary to the story it represents. In 2010, Ko received his BFA from Ontario College of Art & Design where he majored in photography, and in addition he practiced sculpture and curation. During his time in the Masters in Visual Arts program at the University of Toronto his practice shifted into video and sound with the guidance of Kim Tomczak.

Balance, 2013
Phill at Baldwin, 2013


Over the past decade I have come to know Hawaiʻi through stories of people, places, and situations that are unique to the tropical archipelago. These stories have formed my understanding of Hawai’i. There is a connection that I have to the islands that comes out of a profound sense of peace found there, and that it is something I have been looking for my entire life. I can only imagine what that place is for my parents who live there; who have made it their home and struggled to remain there. My family has always been migrating, moving from one place to the next, but we have always found ourselves closer and closer to the ocean and its warmth. For the first time ever, my parents have stopped moving and stayed where they are: a small island in the Pacific surrounded by endless blue, Maui.

Yu Sum Dances With The Sunset, 2013
Horse Riding on Haleakala, 2013
Half-naked Man on Haleakala, 2013
Lavatube, 2013


This project is about beauty – the beauty of the everyday. What first strikes one as beauty can be simply the preconceived idea that one brings to a place such as Hawaiʻi. Everyday beauty in Hawaiʻi is less defined through form and so it is formless. At first you might point in awe but eventually you look on humble and silent for it is a thing of beauty that no words can describe. Each of the stories in the project ALOHA describes beauty, from a beautiful act of humanity to beauty that draws people to a place and to the beauty that is love, all these memories, moments, and events speak about something that cannot be captured as an image. They are all gestures to beauty and express the intermingling of this unique and isolated archipelago called Hawaiʻi.

Sulfur Rising, 2013
Daybreak, 2014
Miconia in the Field, Big Island, 2013
 Sealed Miconia, Maui, 2013
Girl from Room 1, 2009-2013
The Enlightened Giftshop, 2013


Aloha Rocks!, 2013


Rooms (with installation) from Brendan George Ko on Vimeo.

Ko’s work has been included in such events as The Magenta Foundation’s annual photography exhibition and publication, Flash Forward, the juried exhibition Hey! Hot Shot by Jen Bekman in New York City, and in numerous auctions such as ACT’s Snap! Live Auction, Buddies in Bad Times’ Art Attack Auction, and Youthline’s Line Art Auction. In addition he has been commissioned by The Hospital for Sickkids and the Harbourfront Centre. He is represented by LE Gallery in Toronto, ON

To view more of Ko’s work please his website.