IlluminancePhotographs by Rinko Kawauchi
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In 2001, Rinko Kawauchi published three astonishing photobooks simultaneously—Utatane, Hanabi, and Hanako—establishing herself as one of the most innovative newcomers to contemporary photography. Other notable monographs include Aila (2004), The Eyes, the Ear (2005), and Semear (2007). Now, ten years after her precipitous entry onto the international stage, Aperture has published Illuminance, the first volume of Kawauchi’s work to be published outside of Japan.
Kawauchi’s work has frequently been lauded for its nuanced palette and offhand compositional mastery, as well as its ability to incite wonder via careful attention to tiny gestures and the incidental details of her everyday environment. In Illuminance, Kawauchi continues her exploration of the extraordinary in the mundane, drawn to the fundamental cycles of life and the seemingly inadvertent, fractal-like organization of the natural world into formal patterns.
Gorgeously produced as a clothbound volume with Japanese binding, this impressive compilation of mostly previously unpublished images is proof of Kawauchi’s unparalleled, unique sensibility and her ongoing appeal to the lovers of photography.
Rinko Kawauchi (born in Shiga, Japan, 1972) studied graphic design and photography at Seian Junior College of Art and Design. She won the 27th Ihei Kimura Photography Award, 2002; and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award in Art, 2009, and was shortlisted for the 2012 Deutsche Borse prize. Solo exhibitions include: Fondation Cartier, Paris; Photographers’ Gallery, London; Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan; Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden; and Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo. Kawauchi lives in Tokyo.
A curator, writer, and former director of Photoworks, David Chandler (essay) is currently a professor of photography at the University of Plymouth and a visiting professor at the University of Brighton.
"Ten years on from her extraordinary first book, Aila, Kawauchi continues her journey into the heightened everyday. That same mix of intimacy and deceptively casual observation holds sway and the end results remain singularly beautiful." – Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian