In this clip, Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi speaks about the work from her Aperture monograph, Illuminance, with Aperture publisher and editor of the book, Lesley A. Martin. Kawauchi explains how she is interested in revealing the universal cycles of life through the ordinary existence of her family. She also touches on the sequencing and the palette of her images, how they express her own half-awake, half-asleep reality. Finally, they discuss the collaboration process in making this hybrid book combining both Japanese and Western influences.
This excerpt is edited from a conversation between Rinko Kawauchi and Lesley A. Martin which took place at Aperture Gallery on May 18, 2011, on the occasion of the release of Kawauchi’s monograph, Illuminance.
In 2001, Rinko Kawauchi launched her career with the simultaneous publication of three astonishing photo-books — Utatane, Hanabi, and Hanako — firmly establishing her as one of the most innovative newcomers to contemporary photography, not just in Japan, but across the globe.
Kawauchi’s work has frequently been lauded for its nuanced palette and offhand compositional mastery, as well as her wonder-inspiring, deliberate 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. This impressive compilation of previously unpublished images is proof of Kawauchi’s unparalleled sensibility and her ongoing appeal to the photography lovers.
RINKO KAWAUCHI (born in Shiga, Japan, 1972) studied graphic design and photography at Seian Junior College of Art and Design. Among her awards and accolades are the 1997 Grand Prix Prize at the Guardian Garden’s 9th Hitotsubo Exhibition, the 27th Ihei Kimura Photography Award in 2002, and the 2009 International Center of Photography Infinity Award in Art. She has had solo exhibitions at Fondation Cartier, Paris; Photographers’ Gallery, London; Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan; Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden; and Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, among other international venues. Kawauchi lives and works in Tokyo.