Michael Kenna, born and trained in England, lives in Seattle, but travels the world for his photographic projects. Trained at the London College of Printing, he has focused on creating exquisite prints of landscape. Kenna has taken his Hasselblad camera in search of hard to capture scenes, whether the remote mountains of Hokkaido in Japan or the stillness of pre-dawn New York. Devoid of people, his work nevertheless conveys a harmonious relationship between the wild and the manmade. He studies his subjects in depth and thinks photographically in series. His publications, spanning decades, reveal his interest in revisting certain geographic locations, especially Japan, that inspire him most.


Raised in the industrial north of England, he has learned from Bill Brandt’s moody mid-century images, but translates that dour energy into lyrical views of gardens and industrial complexes alike. His images of the Ratcliffe Power Station (2004) are as profound as his recent publication on Mont St. Michel (2006). He has photographed Le Notre’s gardens outside of Paris, as well as the Ford Plant at River Rouge, made famous in the 1930s images by Charles Sheeler. His gift for balancing geometry, weight and detail lend his subjects an air of timelessness. Another recent project, Calais Lace (2003) combined images of the lace-making industry with lace-like landscape imagery from that region. In all Kenna’s work, the sense of place remains paramount.