Michael Kenna - Huangshan

This morning I received a copy of the new book by Michael Kenna, titled Huangshan.

I've been a fan of Michael's work since the late 80's, and I've seen his work progress in leaps and bounds, culminating in what I felt were his best images to date - those of Hokkaido. Like a form of photographic Haiku, Kenna's work is a great lesson in simplifying composition as well as being great things of beauty to enjoy.

So I was a little unsure of whether I'd like this new title from him, as all the images I'd seen on his site and also the front cover didn't really enthuse me. But I was feeling in the mood to buy some new books so I placed an order with Beyond Words.

For those of you who don't know Beyond Words, it's an online book shop that specialises in photography books. Neil, the owner is someone who's passionate about photography and has a good relationship with a lot of well known photographers here in the UK such as Joe Cornish. Anyway, when I'm feeling in the mood for some nice new monographs to go and look at, I tend to visit Beyond Words because Neil also specialises in limited editions as well and I'm a bit keen on collecting good books.

So back to Kenna's book and what I think of it. Well, having said that I was of the opinion that Kenna had reached a pinnacle with his Hokkaido photographs, I'm really pleased to see this new book because I feel it's a new direction for him, and an evolution of sorts too. Less so are the photographs of man-influenced landscapes, and more so, is it a book about a mountainous region of China, beautifully presented and printed in fine art paper.

My copy arrived in a nice slip case and there's a nice introduction by Kenna telling of his treks through this impressive mountain range. I was blown away by the photographs which have a fine-japanese-art feel to them.

Like all Kenna books, this one is limited. But instead of being limited to the usual 3,000 copies, it's been released as an edition of 1,000 copies and I'm really pleased I got this one. If you're interested in getting a copy, Neil has received the very first copies to hit the UK shores and you can get it here.