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Michael Kenna 50th Anniversary: Philosopher’s Trees

2023. 1. 28 – 2. 25
Michael Kenna

In celebration of his 50th year in photography, KONG Gallery is pleased to present Michael Kenna 50th Anniversary: Philosopher’s Trees 2023. In this special exhibition we will showcase an exhaustive collection of Michael Kenna’s masterful black and white landscape photography. Included in this exhibition will be such notable works as the “Pine Trees Study” series from Korea and the “Philosopher’s Tree” series from Hokkaido, which was originally organized as the Philosopher’s Tree exhibition by the KONG Gallery in 2011. Examples of earliest photos from the 70s and 80s, shot in his native England, will also be shown.

For half a century, Michael Kenna’s photography has captivated the art world with its meticulous pursuit of perfection, pointed minimalism, and poetic voice. The work draws audiences in with its simple representation of the ineffable beauty of nature that none of us can deny. Each photograph is rich in the feeling of universalism, as if the tree shown in every image is one you may have sat under before yourself, regardless of how foreign a landscape it actually inhabits.

This comprehensive exhibition will feature the artist’s noteworthy tree photography, covering his entire career from his very first photo of a tree, 1973’s “Ripples and Reflections”, to his most recent work, “Grandfather Oak” from 2021. His recent large format prints, which are rare and unusual for Kenna’s work, will also be prominently displayed alongside examples of his work from Europe, Asia, and the United States. The over 50 photos highlighted by Philosopher’s Tree 2023 show the audience the world through the astute artistic eye of Michael Kenna, inviting them to reflect on the importance of trees in their own lives, or even just offer them a moment to appreciate the simple beauty of the natural world.

38, Samcheongro 7gil, Jongno-gu

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