Since his first trip in 2002, Michael Kenna has traveled almost every winter to northern Japan, to Hokkaido Island, fascinated by this “Pays de neige” (“Land of snow”) with very harsh winters.
In 2006, the book Hokkaïdo appeared, the fruit of his first stays, but it was only the beginning of a long-term work and we are happy to present today a selection of photographs taken over a period of almost twenty years. Most are recent (winter 2020) or unpublished because found in the archives that Michael had the leisure to revisit during the period of confinement.
A sort of end of the world where Japan touches the Sea of Okhotsk and looks towards Siberia, Hokkaïdo is an inspiring place rich in myths. In winter, it becomes for Michael Kenna a kind of blank page on which to write his delicate compositions.
The trees, the horizon and the rare traces of human activity stand out against the icy whiteness of the landscapes: earth suddenly erased in an abstraction from which only a tormented, inhabited and moving sky sometimes frees us.
Trees are the main characters in this game of shapes. Their personality, their stubborn presence, their silhouette full of harmony are part of the greatest successes of this series, the fruit of the passionate quest of a tireless surveyor of the Snow Country.
Michael Kenna : Pays de neige
from October 1 to November 27, 2021
Camera Obscura Gallery
268 boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris
Three new books will be offered for signature on Saturday 23 October