Kenro Izu - Visionary Award

Kenro Izu was born in Osaka, Japan in 1949.
During his studies at Nippon University, college of art, Izu visited New York in 1970 to learn photography as fine art, and subsequently decided to stay and work.


In 1975, after experiences with as an assitant to other photographers, Izu established Kenro Izu Studio in New York City, to specialize in still life photography, both commercial and fine art.

Izu’s first trip to Egypt in 1979 inspired the spiritual quality of the sacred sites, and he started his series “Sacred Places” which is still in progress.


In 1983, a platinum print by Paul Strand inspired Izu to taking a step toward contact-printing process using Platinum/Palladium, using a super large format (14”x20”) camera. Since then, all of Izu’s work is produced by the same technique, mostly in 14”x20” format.

The Still Life work of Izu, includes floral images and Body studies, drawn by its life form, photographed in close observation and documentation of the subjects.
In 2000, Izu started experimenting with a technique of Cyano over Platinum image to achieve infinitively deep blue-black images to express inner sanctuary within the human body and objects. The body of work “BLUE” was completed in 2004 and exhibited in USA and abroad.

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 Without A Border, to help children of Cambodia who suffer from lack of medical facilities and severe poverty.


The Angkor Hospital for Children opened its door in 1999 in Siem Reap , Cambodia, and treated over 420,000 children to date. The hospital is now an official medical education center of whole Cambodia, to educate the next generation of medical workers of Cambodia for the future independence of medical systems of Cambodia.

Izu continues his photography series of “Sacred Places”, has traveled to over 30 countries in the past 25 years and is currently working a series of portraits in Bhutan, and still- life works in studio.

Izu’s work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries, include 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 and Howard Greenberg gallery, among others.

Public Collection includes Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Art, Peabody/Essex museum, LA county museum and Arthur M. Sackler gallery, among others.

Publications include, “Sacred Places” (Arena Editions), “Kenro Izu Still Life” (Arena), “Passage to Angkor” (Channel Photographic), and “BLUE” (Howard Greenberg Gallery).

A recipient of Catskill center for photography fellowship 1992, NEA grant 1984, New York Foundation for Art 1985, Lou Stouman Award 1999, Guggenheim Fellowship 2001, and Vision Award by Center for photography at Wood Stock 2005.