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Peter Fetterman Gallery : Michael Kenna : Japan / A Love Story


Nikkei, Financial Times and Peter Fetterman Gallery present an exhibition tour by photographer Michael Kenna. Titled ‘Japan / A Love story’, the exhibition features 100 hand-crafted prints, highlights of works made in Japan spanning almost four decades. The exhibition visits Tokyo, Los Angeles and London from April through October.

Michael Kenna has been photographing landscapes around the world for over fifty years. The in-depth explorations and imagery of Japan, which he first visited in 1987, stand out as perhaps his most distinguished and well-known works.

“On my first visit to Japan, I was blown away by the aesthetics, the spiritual and religious aspects, the curiosity of the people, their friendliness and generosity,” Kenna says. “Later, I went to Northern Hokkaido in the middle of winter, and it looked to me like a stark sumi-e ink painting, a white canvas with Kanji characters marked on it. I’ve been in love with the place ever since.”

This exceptional collection of one hundred original silver gelatin prints, hand-crafted by Kenna, has been curated by Peter Fetterman who writes :

“This has been one of the most wonderful collaborations of my career. My special thanks go to Michael Kenna of course for creating such beauty, to our dear friends and sponsors, Naotoshi Okada, Chairman & Group CEO, Nikkei, John Ridding, CEO, Financial Times – and their fantastic teams – for generously helping to make this project happen.”

First opened in Tokyo this April, after Los Angeles the exhibition will visit London at the Asia House in September.


About Michael Kenna

 Michael Kenna’s mysterious photographs, often made at dawn or in the dark hours of night, concentrate primarily on the interaction between the natural landscape and human-made structures. Kenna is both a diurnal and nocturnal photographer, fascinated by times of day when light is at its most pliant. With long time-exposures, which might last throughout the night, his photographs often record details that the human eye is not able to perceive.

Kenna is particularly well-known for the intimate scale of his photography and his meticulous personal printing style. He works in the traditional, non-digital, silver photographic medium. His exquisitely hand crafted black and white prints, which he makes in his own darkroom, reflect a sense of refinement, respect for history, and thorough originality.

During Kenna’s fifty-year career, his photographs have been shown in almost a thousand one-person gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the world, and are included in over a hundred permanent institutional collections, including; The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; The Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo; The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Born in Widnes, Lancashire, England in 1953, Kenna currently lives with his family in Seattle, Washington, USA, and continues to photograph and exhibit around the world.


Michael Kenna : Japan / A Love Story
from May 11 to July 20, 2024
Peter Fetterman Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave, Gallery A1
Santa Monica, CA 90404-4031


The exhibition is complemented by the publication of a book of the same name by Nazraeli Press, designed by Japan’s Hideyuki Taguchi.
The book presents 100 of Michael Kenna’s most iconic photographs of the Japanese landscape, many published here for the first time.

Michael Kenna
Japan | A Love Story (Peter Fetterman Gallery Edition)
Publisher: Nazraeli, 2024
Hardcover with Slipcase
size: 13 x 1 x 10″
136 pages

Michael Kenna will be at the gallery signing books on the opening day, Saturday May 11, from 2-4pm.


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