One of the greatest living platinum printers, photographer Kenro Izu uses a custom-built, three-hundred-pound Deardorff camera to produce deeply compelling images of revered religious monuments in Syria, Jordan, England, Chile and most recently, Buddhist and Hindu monuments in Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam and India.
Izu began working as a commercial photographer in New York shortly after emigrating from Japan in 1970. After visiting some of Egypt’s historic sites, Izu was struck by the dichotomy between the massive stone structures and a sense of impermanence. He embarked on a pilgrimage of sorts, studying sacred sites and worshippers across the globe in an effort to capture not only magnificent forms, but people engaging in religious and spiritual practice. Many of Izu’s images are suffused with an otherworldly light and time appears suspended. “The ‘sacredness’ of a sacred place is within the geographic atmosphere, and not limited to the architectural objects,” says the artist.
Kenro Izu’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions around the world, including at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; the Fitchburg Museum of Art, Massachusetts; the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; and the Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan.
Izu is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Lucca Photo Award from the Photo Lux Festival, Italy; the Vision Award from The Center for Photography, Woodstock; a National Endowment for Arts Grant and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.
His work is in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and Galleria Civica di Modena.
Born in Osaka, Japan, 1949 | Lives and works in Rhinebeck, New York