1st Edition, edition size just 750 copies
The Book and exhibition takes you on a journey through Asia, across the landscapes of India, Thailand, Vietnam, China, South Korea and Japan. On his first visit to Japan in 1987, he was instantly entranced by the land and has returned to Asia time and again. The 48 black and white photographs, part of an ongoing project, display his ?passion, almost addiction or love affair with the land. He explores the relationship, juxtaposition, and interaction between the landscape and the structures that humans leave on the landscape. Kenna seeks out even the faintest of human interventions; traces, evidence, footprints, history, memories. In Japan he felt a deep sense of history in the terrain and through his subsequent trips to Asia he continues to search for the latent atmosphere of a place.
Rather than describing or reflecting reality, Kenna provides a more subjective interpretation. Shooting in black and white, he believes that as we see in colour all the time, black and white is instantly more mysterious. He favours working at dawn or dusk, as too much light tends to reveal all the details of a scene. Furthermore he gives free reign to the unexpected and unpredictable, using exposures of up to ten hours. Kenna gives up total control and allows nature to transpire; clouds come and go and condensation might appear on the lens. The long exposures eliminate or subdue distracting details and visually dense areas such as water become calmed. Infused with quietness, the photographs offer a place of contemplation and solitude in our fast paced world of noise and colour. Within the meditative landscapes, the viewer's imagination is invited to wander.
Born in 1953 into a working-class Irish catholic family in England, Kenna initially trained to become a priest. However his aspirations changed and despite no artistic background, he enrolled at art school and went on to study photography at the London College of Printing. Here he was first exposed to the photographers Bill Brandt, Ansel Adams, Josef Sudek and Alfred Steiglitz, whom were to become profoundly influential. After moving to San Francisco in 1977, he started to focus his attentions on his hobby, landscape photography. Today Kenna's work has been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the world and is held in over 80 permanent collections including the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He has won numerous awards including the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. To date there are 42 published books of Kenna's photography.
Hardcover, 100 pages
49 Black and white illustrations
1st Edition, limited to 750 copies
Foreword by Tyga Helme, interview with Michael Kenna2013