press release

Kenro Izu’s photographs of the world’s sacred places invite the viewer to slow down, enter into a state of contemplation, and consider the illusion of permanence in the physical world. His travels have taken him as far afield as Mexico, the British Isles, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, India, China, Thailand, Tibet and Cambodia. His quest is no less than to capture the spiritual resonance of the ancient monuments he photographs, the lingering imprint of the prayers they have heard through the ages, the presences they have witnessed.

Izu’s method of working reifies the meditative quality of his photographs. He had a view camera modified to take 14 x 20-inch sheet film. He contact-prints the resulting negatives onto watercolor paper that he hand-coats with a platinum-palladium emulsion. The process takes three days. The prints, warm-toned and minutely nuanced, bear witness to their own journey of creation.

This is not to imply that Izu is not of this world. A Japanese native, he came to New York in 1970 as a college student on a break; within four years, he opened his own commercial studio in the city. He is also a humanitarian. On a 1995 trip to the ancient capitol of Angkor, in Cambodia, he was so horrified to witness the countless number of children in the region who had been wounded and maimed by land mines—and the lack of medical care for the poor—that he created plans and raised funds to establish the Angkor Hospital for Children, founding the organization Friends Without a Border to support the project. Since opening in 1999, the hospital has treated more than four hundred thousand children, and has added programs to train medical personnel and conduct health-education outreach in the region.

only in german

Kenro Izu