KENRO IZU: FUZHOU - THE SACRED LAND
For more than four decades, New York-based Japanese photographer Kenro Izu has travelled the world photographing sacred and spiritual places. His journey began in Egypt and Syria in the 1970s, before turning eastwards to Cambodia, Bhutan, India and China.
Introduced to the city by his friend Han Feng, Izu arrived in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, in 2017: more specifically, the site where the ancient camphor trees and historical houses that now form part of Shanghai’s Amanyangyun were rescued from, under threat from a reservoir project.
To Kenro Izu: “The places I photographed in Fuzhou are like anywhere else on Earth. They became ruins, were abandoned. When a dam is built, only traces of people and places remain – the roof of a school, an advertising sign hanging on a pole. They are traces of human existence; they are today’s monuments. They guide my interest towards the people, to look for the human scent amidst forgotten villages and dilapidated houses. They point me to monuments of humankind. And I name them: ‘The Sacred Land’.”