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Rinko Kawauchi on Ametsuchi (Video)

On the occasion of the her recent book launch at Aperture Gallery, Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi sat down with us to discuss the origins of Ametsuchi, her latest volume of photography.

In this video, Kawauchi describes the genesis of her journey to photograph at Aso, a city and volcanic mountain region in southern Japan, whose image first appeared to her in a dream years ago. Ametsuchi brings together images from her exploration of the area’s landscapes, distant constellations, and tiny figures lost within land—as well as her observations of a traditional style of controlled-burn farming (yakihata), Buddhist rituals, and other religious ceremonies.

Kawauchi also discusses the title of this new volume, whose multiple meanings (“heaven and earth,” “top and bottom”) have been translated into a moving physical object by Dutch designer Hans Gremmen. We spoke with Gremmen earlier this spring about the choices surrounding Ametsuchi’s unique form in an online-only interview that can be read here.

Ametsuchi: Photographs by Rinko Kawauchi is now available.



Shifting her attention from micro to macro, Rinko Kawauchi documents constellations and traditional controlled-burn farming in Ametsuchi.


In Illuminance, the first volume of Rinko Kawauchi’s work published outside Japan, she continues her exploration of the extraordinary in the mundane.

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