While still a teenager, Kenro Izu began photographing the landscape of his homecity Osaka, Japan. He subsequently studied photography at the Nippon University College of Art in Tokyo. In 1972, aged 21, Izu moved to New York, where he opened his own studio in 1975. In 1979, he began to photograph Egyptian pyramids and landscapes. In 1984, he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, D.C.), which enabled him to start working on a series about sacred places all over the world – in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, England, Scotland, Mexico, France and Easter Island. He finally focused on Buddhist and Hindu monuments in South-East-Asia - Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam and India. Izu works hard to assure that his photos convey the spiritual essence of these sacred sites, which have touched people of various faiths and creeds for centuries. Many of these sites are now at risk due to negligence, pollution or excessive tourism. Izu used to travel for weeks through remote areas, far away from civilization, carrying with him a custom-made 330 lb camera for close-ups and a limited number of negatives, sized 14.2 x 20.1 in. After his arrival, he first searched for the ideal perspective and sometimes waited for hours for the perfect light and air density.
In his studio, Izu prints the negatives on watercolour paper, which he hand-coats himself with a light-sensitive solution, that contains platinum chloride and adds a glossy depth to his prints. He is one of the few photographers, who still use the platinum palladium print technique, and has dedicated his life to the art of photography and the perfection of the platinum printing process.
Kenro Izu’s works can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston as well as in a host of other public and private collections.
„When I encountered this tree, standing upon the temple with such authority, I was filled with thoughts that surpassed such mundane notions as life or death. I felt that when I encountered a moment, wondered of my own existence, this tree may have an answer
(Tree in Angkor, Cambodia 1993).“