Michael Kenna in Japan

With the absence of figures in his photographs, Kenna looks for interesting compositions and arrangements within the natural landscape. He is drawn to certain times of day and night, preferring to photograph in the mist, rain and snow, but clear blue sky and sunshine do now inspire him. He also only photographs his work in black and white, as he believes that, “black and white is immediately more mysterious because we see in colour all the time. It is quieter than colour.”

This image is of Hokkaido, Japan, one of Kenna’s favourite places to photograph – he has returned here many times to re-photograph his the same vistas – each time he discovers something new and inspiring. Recounting his first time in Japan, Kenna stated, “Going to Asia in the mid 80s was very insightful.. There was this kind of feeling of zen simplicity, of Haiku. And it’s something that touched me very deeply. It’s something that I had been doing in some ways, some of my early photographs have a Haiku feeling to them, it’s about suggestion rather than description.”

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