Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance

Overview

In 2001, Rinko Kawauchi launched her career with the simultaneous publication of three astonishing photobooks--Utatane, Hanabi and Hanako--firmly establishing herself as one of the most innovative newcomers to contemporary photography, not just in Japan, but across the globe. In the years that followed, she published other notable monographs, including Aila (2004), The Eyes, the Ear (2005) and Semear (2007). And now, ten years after her precipitous entry onto the international stage, Aperture has published ...
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Overview

In 2001, Rinko Kawauchi launched her career with the simultaneous publication of three astonishing photobooks--Utatane, Hanabi and Hanako--firmly establishing herself as one of the most innovative newcomers to contemporary photography, not just in Japan, but across the globe. In the years that followed, she published other notable monographs, including Aila (2004), The Eyes, the Ear (2005) and Semear (2007). And now, ten years after her precipitous entry onto the international stage, Aperture has published Illuminance, the latest volume of Kawauchi's work and the first to be published outside of Japan. Kawauchi's photography 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. As Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2006, noted, "there is always some glimmer of hope and humanity, some sense of wonder at work in the rendering of the intimate and fragile." 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 Gorgeously produced as a clothbound volume with Japanese binding, this impressive compilation of previously unpublished images--which garnered Kawauchi a nomination for the Deutsche Börse Prize--is proof of her unique sensibility and ongoing appeal to lovers of photography.
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Editorial Reviews

Photograph Magazine

Rinko Kawauchi's Illuminance (Aperture) could be the year's most beautiful photo book With Illuminance, Kawauchi clarifies what Chandler calls her "spirit of accelerated wonder," summing up her considerable achievement while leaving it marvelously expansive and open-ended.
— Vince Aletti

The New York Magazine

Kawauchi is a master at grasping dreamlike moments, both profound and banal, with incredible detail: swirling surf, a translucent small frog perched on the edge of a hand, a child intensely focusing on a tiny speck on the sidewalk. As David Chandler writes in an essay that accompanies Kawauchi's pictures, which were taken over the last 15 years, "Recorded are the rhythms of this life, rather than its set pieces: a breath, a touch, and a glance, the things that happen inside the moment and that can never be clearly seen."
— The Photo Department

Little Brown Mushroom

An exquisitely produced monograph with wide international distribution. This book should make Rinko a household name.
— Alec Soth

ArtAsiaPacific

Sensitively designed, Illuminance packs 144 photographs into its 163 French-fold pages. Yet by foregoing individual titles, captions, and page numbers one is left to really look at the images - their uncanny juxtapositions and accumulated connections. The cropped details, emotive over-exposures, and blurred movements actually perform a complex choreography, both in the camera and at the editing stage. For better or worse Japanese photobooks often go without essays to "contextualize" the work, yet here an appended essay by David Chandler notably cites what Kawauchi has referred to as the "constant present" to describe the elliptical sense of time permeating her enigmatic oeuvre.
— Olivier Krischer

Art in America

The work of this Japanese photographer always looks better in book form, where, printed one per page and carefully sequenced, her images-delicate, intimate, reticent but never cryptic-an be absorbed slowly, and her tougher, more jolting photos can better deliver their punch. Illuminance gathers work from the last 15 years: a gangly spider; a hole in a rock, filled with water; a doll-like blossom, washed out by flash; a dead, bloodied deer by the side of the road. The book is cinematic in its steady buildup of images that create a mood, and then break it. This kind of thing is hard to sustain, but just when Kawauchi's approach to the poetic snapshot starts to look familiar, it takes a turn for the weird.
— Stephen Maine

The Guardian

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 New York Magazine - The Photo Department
Kawauchi is a master at grasping dreamlike moments, both profound and banal, with incredible detail: swirling surf, a translucent small frog perched on the edge of a hand, a child intensely focusing on a tiny speck on the sidewalk. As David Chandler writes in an essay that accompanies Kawauchi's pictures, which were taken over the last 15 years, "Recorded are the rhythms of this life, rather than its set pieces: a breath, a touch, and a glance, the things that happen inside the moment and that can never be clearly seen."
Little Brown Mushroom - Alec Soth
An exquisitely produced monograph with wide international distribution. This book should make Rinko a household name.
ArtAsiaPacific - Olivier Krischer
Sensitively designed, Illuminance packs 144 photographs into its 163 French-fold pages. Yet by foregoing individual titles, captions, and page numbers one is left to really look at the images - their uncanny juxtapositions and accumulated connections. The cropped details, emotive over-exposures, and blurred movements actually perform a complex choreography, both in the camera and at the editing stage. For better or worse Japanese photobooks often go without essays to "contextualize" the work, yet here an appended essay by David Chandler notably cites what Kawauchi has referred to as the "constant present" to describe the elliptical sense of time permeating her enigmatic oeuvre.
Art in America - Stephen Maine
The work of this Japanese photographer always looks better in book form, where, printed one per page and carefully sequenced, her images-delicate, intimate, reticent but never cryptic-an be absorbed slowly, and her tougher, more jolting photos can better deliver their punch. Illuminance gathers work from the last 15 years: a gangly spider; a hole in a rock, filled with water; a doll-like blossom, washed out by flash; a dead, bloodied deer by the side of the road. The book is cinematic in its steady buildup of images that create a mood, and then break it. This kind of thing is hard to sustain, but just when Kawauchi's approach to the poetic snapshot starts to look familiar, it takes a turn for the weird.
The Guardian - Sean O'Hagan
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.
Photograph Magazine - Vince Aletti
Rinko Kawauchi's Illuminance (Aperture) could be the year's most beautiful photo book With Illuminance, Kawauchi clarifies what Chandler calls her "spirit of accelerated wonder," summing up her considerable achievement while leaving it marvelously expansive and open-ended.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597111447
  • Publisher: Aperture Foundation
  • Publication date: 6/30/2011
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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