Michael Kenna 1
Michael Kenna 2
Michael Kenna
Forms of Japan
There is something mysterious and wonderfully alluring in Japan. It can be felt in the engaging intimacy of scale in its terrain, in the deep sense of history contained in its earth, and in the omnipresent interactions between water, earth and sky. There is a reverence and honor towards the land, symbolized by the ubiquitous torii gates, which are an integrated part of the landscape: places to rest and meditate, and perhaps escape from the complications and noise of our fast paced modern lives. Japan is relatively small, reserved, surrounded by water, and inhabited for centuries. Echoes and memories of the past can be felt everywhere.

Shikoku, is where Kobo Daishi, the Grand Master of Shingon Buddhism, journied some 1,200 years ago. His legacy now includes an 800 mile “Henro-Michi” pilgrimage trail of 88 temples spread throughout Shikoku. In 2003, for my 50th birthday, I undertook this pilgrimage by car, and photographed in all the temples along the way. Honshu is home to Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara - cities that should be on everybody’s bucket list. Kyushu boasts the famous and very active volcanoes. Hokkaido, is the place in Japan where I have spent the most time and have had the best photographic results. Home to exquisite lakes, graceful mountains and countless majestic trees, photographic subject matter there is ubiquitous.
Anglo-American photographer born in 1953 in Widnes, Lancashire, England, and internationally renowned master of black and white landscape, Michael Kenna is a tireless traveller, and a citizen of the world.

He studied at the Banbury School of Art and later at the London College of Printing where he graduated with distinction in 1976. Coming from a working-class background, he saw photography not only as a means of personal expression but also to make a living.

In 1977 he moved to San Francisco, then to Seattle, where he lives today. Walking day and night, observing, waiting, meditating, enjoying silence and long-exposure times, singing are the elements that feed the work of the artist. Beyond fashion, silver prints reveal the depth, the quest for intelligibility; he sees more clearly as it increases our understanding of the human.

Michael Kenna offers us the beauty of the world.

Michael Kenna performs all his silver prints himself. He likes small sizes that are an invitation to intimacy. His prints are in all institutional collections in the world with already more than 60 books devoted to it.