Photographs by Michael Kenna
Michael Kenna’s black-and-white photographs of Buddha statues featured in this book are a restorative, inspiring antidote to a chaotic modern world.
Michael Kenna is celebrated for his mysterious and exquisite black-and-white natural and industrial landscapes. He is especially revered for his images of Asia, where he has traveled to some of the world's most beautiful locations. It is no wonder that among Kenna's prolific creations are numerous images of the Buddha from countries such as Cambodia, China, Japan, India, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Captured in shrines, temples, sanctuaries, private homes, and museums, these images are quiet, uncluttered, and striking in the interplay of dark and light, line and shadow. Also included in the book are a selection of Kenna's Asian landscape photography, an essay about Buddhism, and excerpts from Buddhist scriptures. Fans of Kenna's distinctive evocative style will savor the myriad perspectives of the Buddha's singular form, while anyone inspired by the Buddha's message will be drawn to this photographic journey towards enlightenment.
Ira Stehmann is a curator and photography expert based in Munich.
Michael Kenna is an English photographer, now based in Seattle, USA, best known for his black-and-white landscapes. More than 60 books and monographs have been published on his photographic work, including Forms of Japan, Rouge, and Holga (all by Prestel).
Gudrun Melzer studied Indian art history, Indology and Tibetology in Berlin and Munich. She was awarded her doctorate in 2007 at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, which included the translation and publication of several sermons of the Buddha from a unique birch-bark manuscript in Sanskrit. Since 2012, Melzer has been involved in the long-term project on the publication of Buddhist manuscripts from the Gandhāra region (present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan), which are among the oldest-known manuscripts of Buddhism.
Jens-Uwe Hartmann became professor of Indology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 1999, a position he held until his retirement in 2018. His research focuses on the literature and history of Indian Buddhism, especially old and lost manuscripts and early translations into Tibetan and Chinese. He has held visiting professorships in Paris, Tokyo, Berkeley and Stanford.