Michael Kenna is an artmonk and a gentleman[part of the “__ is an artmonk” series]
I’ve been following Michael Kenna‘s photography for a few years now, and I’m pleased to announce that, with Kenna’s permission, I’ll be using some of his photos for the banner of this blog.
Watch a short film on Kenna’s work.
Often I make long time exposures so that detailed water becomes floating mist, clouds in the sky become blurred mass es of tonality and a populated scene becomes empty. The world is pretty chaotic, seemingly always speeding up and getting louder and more visually dense. I am interested in finding and/or creating calm shelters from the storm, places where quiet solitude is encouraged and inner contemplation is possible. I think we could all use a break from time to time…
Imagine being out at night, alone, under starry skies, listening to silence, watching the world slowly move, all senses alive, thinking, imagining, and dreaming.
The camera is recording, creating, documenting, seeing what the eye cannot see – cumulative time. Or imagine the sensation of being in a field as the snow falls on a single, exquisite tree. White all around. Just the sound of snow falling. Or again, the crashing of angry waves, pre dawn, against white sand, clouds in the sky, a glow on the horizon from the slowly wakening sun. Then call that “work”. There are moments when the elements of life come together magically; conditions, places, subject matter, inner connections; moments that are singular and very special. It is a privilege to be present at such times and to have the possibility to integrate into the scene and subjectively interpret. It is an experience that defies description, at least from me. These experiences drive my photography. I think it is a wonderful way to go through life. I love almost all aspects of the photographic process; planning, traveling, searching, image making, seeing the first contact sheets, printing, exhibiting, making books, everything. I am a very lucky person to have found this path and am extremely content.
—Michael Kenna, in the Light (pdf)