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Kenro Izu
Kenro Izu

Kenro Izu

Country: China
Birth: 1949

Kenro Izu (b. 1949) was born in Osaka, Japan. During his studies at Nippon University, college of art, Izu visited New York in 1970 to study photography, and subsequently decided to stay and work. In 1975, after working as an assistant to other photographers, Izu established Kenro Izu Studio in New York City, to specialize in still life photography, both commercial and fine art. In 1979, Izu made his first trip to Egypt, which inspired him to begin his series Sacred Places, an exploration that is still in progress.

In 1983, a platinum print by Paul Strand inspired Izu to take a step toward developing his own contact-printing process using Platinum/Palladium, using a super large format camera. Since then, all of Izu's work is produced by the same technique, mostly in a 14x20 inch format. Izu's still-life images include floral and anatomical subjects. In 2000, Izu started experimenting with a technique of Cyano over Platinum to achieve deep blue-black. The body of work entitled, Blue, was completed in 2004.

As Izu continues his series, Sacred Places, he has traveled to Egypt, Syria, Jordan, England, Scotland, Mexico, France and Easter Island (Chile). More recently, he has focused on Buddhist and Hindu monuments in South East Asia: Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam and, most recently Bhutan and India. Izu's work has been exhibited in numerous museums including the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Smithsonian Institution, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Peabody/Essex Museum, Museum of Photographic Art, Rubin Museum of Art, among others. He has published several books of his work including: Sacred Places, Kenro Izu Still Life, Passage to Angkor, and Eternal Light.

In 1985, after a several visit to Cambodia to photograph the Angkor Wat, Izu decided to build and operate a free pediatric hospital, and founded a not-for-profit organization, Friends Withou A Border, to help children of Cambodia who suffer from lack of medical facilities and severe poverty. The Angkor Hospital for Children, which opened in 1999 in Siem Reap , Cambodia is now an official medical education center.

Izu has been the recipient of the Catskill Center for Photography Fellowship in 1992, a NEA grant in 1984, the New York Foundation for Arts grant in 1985, the Lou Stouman Award in 1999, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001, the Vision Award from the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2005 and a Lucie Award in 2007.

Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

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My reemergence as a photographer in 2006 (after a 25 year musical career playing the Celtic harp) was basically a self-taught one with quite a few online tutorials along the way! AAP: Do you have a mentor? TD: My father was a great influence on me- both as a photographer and a human being. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? TD: Since 2006. My brief dabbling in photography in the 70s barely counts! AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? TD: My first real photoshoot was of my friend (and first Muse) Halley dressed in a beautiful Rococo-themed dress she made. We wandered through the streets of downtown Decatur Ga. at around midnight searching for street light to shoot in. AAP: What or who inspires you? TD: Beauty inspires me. Great painters inspire me. An artistic or chameleonesque model inspires me... AAP: How could you describe your style? TD: “Painterly” photo montage with an artistic approach AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? TD: My favorite photo is always the one I am currently working on! AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? TD: I really am not one of those photographers who likes to talk about gear because I think the most important tool that an artist possesses is their imagination... but I shoot with a Sony A57 using a 18-70mm lens. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? TD: I seem to spend ALL my time editing photos - What purpose? Self expression and sometimes' client satisfaction! AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? TD: Jan Saudek - for the way he created such boldly erotic personal imagery while hiding from a repressive Communist regime... He also used texture and color in a very painterly way which has influenced me a great deal. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? TD: Don't be in a hurry to "succeed", and shun advice like "Fake it ‘til you make it". It takes TIME and PATIENCE to develop your own style. Always follow your own voice and don't be swayed by what is currently popular, and don't forget to ENJOY it - this is not supposed to feel like work! AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? TD: Becoming an imitation or a copy of another photographer. Being in a hurry to get published or displayed in galleries is another common mistake. Take the time and develop your craft for a few years before you start thinking about sharing it with the world! AAP: Any quotes you would like to share? TD: "I am steadily surprised that there are so many photographers that reject manipulating reality, as if that was wrong. Change reality! If you don't find it, invent it!" - Pete Turner AAP: What current projects are you working on? TD: Nothing I can tell you about, but I will drop a hint and say it involves shattering some commonly held preconceptions about a "marginalized" segment of society. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? 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TD: I long ago learned as a model photographer that the crucial things to pack in your camera bag are not extra lenses, filters and light meters, They are instead bobby pins, safety pins, hair ties, insect repellent and sun block. Oh yeah, and a few model releases too! AAP: Anything else you would like to share? TD: Please feel free to "like" my Facebook page and introduce yourself.
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