“His photographs are beautiful, but it is not so much the beauty you see with your eyes that is the point. It is the fact that the beauty he has captured with his camera was not the same before he clicked the shutter and will not be the same after. That impermanence is the more profound beauty he seeks in his work.”—Eikoh Hosoe
Veritas Editions, the premier publishing house specializing in photographic art and narrative on paper, is pleased to announce the publication of Japanese master photographer Kenro Izu’s stunning new book Impermanence: The Spirit Within, A Fifty Year Journey. Impermanence is part of a “Trilogy of Masters,” also featuring George Tice’s LIFEWORK, which was unveiled at AIPAD The Photography Show in May 2022, and Paul Caponigro’s Visual Memories and Hidden Places, which is scheduled to release in September 2022.
For over 50 years, master photographer Kenro Izu (born 1949, Osaka, Japan) has created images with his signature large-format film process. Impermanence represents fifty years of his work after moving from Japan to the US as a young man to begin a career in fine art photography. Izu recalls “It was Thanksgiving night in 1971 when I arrived at Port Authority on a Greyhound bus. The illuminated Empire State Building on 34th Street shone through the fog. I was finally in New York, the city I had dreamed of before leaving Japan.”
Impermanence presents images from Izu’s major series taken on his extensive journeys to countries and places throughout the world. Izu titles his book essay, “A Journey Without A Map,” and he chronicles his process to become an intuitively-driven artist. Meeting and speaking with the 14th Dalai Lama was a pivotal moment in his artist sensibilities. This reflective acknowledgement of the unseen within the seen provides an emotional quality to his photographic images.
“After the early years of experimentation, the direction of my work came to be guided not by logic, but by instinct. I have let intuition lead me to each of the destinations and subjects I have photographed. It has been this way now for nearly half a century. As one can hear the basso continuo throughout a piece of music, I hope those of you looking at the span of my career represented by the images in this book see the continuum—the spiritual bass line—in all my photographs.”
This continuum of metaphorical and literal, figurative and symbolic, plays out across the pages, reflecting a reverence for light and story found in people as well as in places. He finds the parallels and exploration points, echoing form and line in his botanical as well as nude studies. His “Sacred Places” highlights locations around the world from Egypt to Laos, from Pompeii to Bhutan. The book concludes with his most recent and ongoing series on Japanese Noh masks.
Eikoh Hosoe met Izu over 30 years ago, and in the book’s introduction, he notes Izu’s unique artistic vision, writing: “It is a vision of the beauty in all things, which he often seeks out in places where it is perhaps most fragile: a flower whose fullness lasts but days, if not only hours; an ancient temple in Angkor, decaying and broken with the passage of time and half-consumed by the nature around it; the rituals of death on the banks of the Ganges River in India. But his true goal is not just what is seen through the lens of the camera or on a printed piece of paper. It is a spiritual beauty that can only be experienced in a more abstract sense.”
The design and physical elements of Kenro Izu’s fifty year journey mirrors the intention and aesthetic of Izu’s images. Presented as a cloth-bound hardcover with available slipcover, the pages are offset lithography printed in full quadtone. The expansive 324 pages feature over 220 plates from scanned original platinum palladium images and the negatives behind them. The Limited-Edition version is presented in a clamshell case along with an original collotype print handmade by Benrido Atelier in Kyoto, Japan.
Accompanying texts from Kenro Izu, internationally renowned photographic artist Eikoh Hosoe, and gallery owner Howard Greenberg, as well as plate descriptions, are presented tri-lingually in English, Japanese, and Chinese.
About the Artist:
Kenro Izu is a widely celebrated photographer. Born in Japan, he lived in the United States from 1971 through 2021 while he photographed around the world. A custom-made Deardorff in the unique format of 14 x 20 inches has been a hallmark of his work, and his photographs have been exhibited in numerous museums and published in twenty books. In addition, he is the founder of a pediatric hospital and nonprofit organization, Friends Without A Border, for children of Cambodia who suffer from lack of medical facilities and severe poverty.
Impermanence: The Spirit Within, A Fifty Year Journey
Trade Press Edition:
Offset Lithography, quadtone printing
324 pages with 220 images
Trim Size: 12 x 13 inches.
Available custom cloth covered case
Introductory Price: $125 US
Izu Limited Edition:
Custom Clamshell Case
with an original collotype print signed by Kenro, chosen from 4 different prints.
For pricing information, visit https://www.veritaseditions.com.