Filtering by Tag: Illuminance

Rinko Kawauchi at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

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Rinko Kawauchi:

Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow

May 12 — July 16

Untitled, from the series Ametsuchi, 2012

The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography is delighted to present the solo exhibition entitled Kawauchi Rinko: Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow, devoted to the work of Kawauchi Rinko, a photographer who has exemplified the period from 2000 on, winning support largely from the younger generation, and has also achieved renown on the international stage.

This exhibition, Kawauchi Rinko's first solo exhibition at a museum in the Tokyo area, will introduce Illuminance, which mainly consists of recent work in the 6 x 6 cm format, the style of photography that is almost synonymous with this artist, as well as her latest work, Ametsuchi and Seeing Shadow, series being exhibited for the first time.

Kawauchi Rinko has spent nearly 15 years shooting the photographs that make up the Illuminance series, in which we see a deepening of themes that first appeared in her Utatane series, for which she won the 2002 Kimura Ihee Award. Here again we see, with a greater depth of style, everyday private scenes shot in a way that illuminates the universal brilliance of life. The artist's unique world of images develops spatially, mingling light and dark, life and death, beauty and sadness in a large number of momentary scenes. The new Ametsuchi and Seeing Shadow series, which include both large prints and video works, create intuitive depictions of the cosmic order, the connection between heaven and earth, primitive scenes, through a variety of earthly phenomena, including the burning off of the fields around Mt. Aso in early spring. A group of photographs photographed with a large-format 4 x 5 inch camera and presented as large-scale prints, about two meters wide, combined with an experiential video presentation on a large screen reflect a view of the world on a huge scale not seen in Kawauchi's earlier work.

The exhibition consists of approximately 80 works that present the essence and fascination of Kawauchi Rinko's creative cosmos and draws close to new developments.

Untitled, from the series Illuminance, 2009
Untitled, from the series Illuminance, 2007
Text courtesy of Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Rinko Kawauchi will be showing at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

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2F Exhibition Gallery

Untitled, from the series of Ametsuchi 2012

Kawauchi Rinko: Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow

May 12 (Sat) - July 16 (Mon)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography is delighted to present the solo exhibition entitled Kawauchi Rinko: Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow, devoted to the work of Kawauchi Rinko, a photographer who has exemplified the period from 2000 on, winning support largely from the younger generation, and has also achieved renown on the international stage.

This exhibition, Kawauchi Rinko's first solo exhibition at a museum in the Tokyo area, will introduce Illuminance, which mainly consists of recent work in the 6 x 6 cm format, the style of photography that is almost synonymous with this artist, as well as her latest work, Ametsuchi and Seeing Shadow, series being exhibited for the first time.

Kawauchi Rinko has spent nearly 15 years shooting the photographs that make up the Illuminance series, in which we see a deepening of themes that first appeared in her Utatane series, for which she won the 2002 Kimura Ihee Award. Here again we see, with a greater depth of style, everyday private scenes shot in a way that illuminates the universal brilliance of life. The artist's unique world of images develops spatially, mingling light and dark, life and death, beauty and sadness in a large number of momentary scenes. The new Ametsuchi and Seeing Shadow series, which include both large prints and video works, create intuitive depictions of the cosmic order, the connection between heaven and earth, primitive scenes, through a variety of earthly phenomena, including the burning off of the fields around Mt. Aso in early spring. A group of photographs photographed with a large-format 4 x 5 inch camera and presented as large-scale prints, about two meters wide, combined with an experiential video presentation on a large screen reflect a view of the world on a huge scale not seen in Kawauchi's earlier work.

The exhibition consists of approximately 80 works that present the essence and fascination of Kawauchi Rinko's creative cosmos and draws close to new developments.

Untitled, from the series of Illuminance 2007

Untitled, from the series of Illuminance 2009

Please see more at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography website

Photographmag - Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance Book review by Vince Aletti

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Rinko Kawauchi’s Illuminance (Aperture) could be the year’s most beautiful photo book. Her 12th since 2001, when she published three books simultaneously, it’s culled from 15 years of work and loosely tied to the theme of light. Typically, her subjects are both ordinary and extraordinary: a burning cigarette, a suckling baby, a dead bird, a drop of water on a lily pad, a lunar eclipse. In a sequence of radiant color images that feels at once deliberate and random, she strikes an ideal balance between weight and weightlessness, the concrete and the ephemeral. David Chandler, the book’s elegant essayist, identifies Kawauchi’s “highly personal, insatiably hungry form of photography, both euphoric and startled,” as part of “a new kind of visual communication, a new language...that is diaristic, uninhibited, interpersonal, and emotionally charged.” But he also places her squarely within the Japanese photo-book tradition that gives publications priority over exhibitions. 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.

Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance at Hermes

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Friday, 10 June, 2011

Blog Post Courtesy of DLK Collection

JTF (just the facts): A total of 15 large scale color photographs, framed in white with no mat, and hung in the atrium gallery space at the top of the store. All of the works are chromogenic prints made between 1009 and 2011. The prints on display are square format, each 40 x 40; no edition information was available. A monograph of this body of work is forthcoming from Aperture.

Comments/Context: Every time I see Rinko Kawauchi's work, I am reminded that photography has not lost its ability to capture the pure unadulterated wonder of the world around us. Her images of seemingly mundane objects and fleeting moments are radical in their effortless simplicity and genuine freshness, her optimistic curiosity discovering child-like interest in things most of us would pass by without a second glance. Her shows have the effect of stripping away jadedness and cynicism, taking us back to a view of the world that is more naturally engaged and actively inquisitive.

What I like about this newest selection of images is that they have been edited with much tighter hand, making the whole much more thematically coherent than previous shows I've seen, which have tended to wander with more randomness from subject to subject. Virtually all the pictures on this view turn on their use of light. What might seem like a ridiculously overused photographic construct actually works here, as the images sparkle with flashes and beams of immaculate whiteness, on surfaces, in the air, and through the frame. Kawauchi's light glistens through watery mist, glances off a scooter side mirror, stripes a sidewalk, gets lost in the smoke of fireworks, slips through the forest, and passes through a transparent bubble. She jumps from the immensity of a solar eclipse to the minuteness of a tiny frog perched on a thumb, touching the tenderness of a dead swallow and the poetry of a swirling sea in between.

Regardless of her subject, Kawauchi never seems to lose sight of delicacy and openness. At first, a blast of flash against an ordinary pink rose at night seems harsh and amateurish; look again and it has a quiet haze that is quite remarkable. Even shots that might be mistaken for stock photography are somehow infused with her life affirming attention; it's like we are being taught to see all over again. Kawauchi's work doesn't fit into any neat categories or curatorial frameworks; hers is an authentically original vision, and this well chosen small show is evidence of the power of an alternate viewpoint.

Collector's POV: This isn't a selling show, so no prices were available. Kawauchi's work has only recently entered the secondary markets; with only a few lots sold in various sizes, it's hard to draw many pricing trends from so few outcomes. As a result, gallery retail is still the best option for interested collectors. I don't believe Kawauchi has gallery representation in New York at the moment, so FOIL Gallery in Tokyo will be the place to go.

Interview with Rinko Kawauchi

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Rinko Kawauchi's Silky Bliss

By Brienne Walsh, Interview Magazine

UNTITLED FROM "ILLUMINANCE," 2009.

On the top floor of the Hermès store on Madison Avenue, past shelves of signature silk scarves and leather accessories, hangs "Illuminance," a new body of work by the Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi. Bathed in the sun from the skylight at the top of the curling white stairs, in a setting that mimics the top-floor galleries of the iconic Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright, the fifteen works in the show exude a sense of calm, a zen-like attention to small details and muted colors. "I spend my life itself in photography," Kawauchi told Interview. "Place itself doesn't matter to me so much as the image that emerges."

Captured in various cities over the past 15 years, and shot from the hip with a finder Rolliflex camera, the untitled works, taken mostly without a flash, are marked by their luminescence. Depicting seemingly unconnected subjects—a small, dead bird lying on a pristine white background; a group of people emerging from a doorway onto a color flushed garden from the dark shadows of an unlit room; a man standing on an outcropping of rock over a moon-bathed ocean—the study of light itself seems to be the unifying theme of the body of work. In one image, shot in 2009, the headlight beams reflected off of the side-view mirror of a moped obscure the faint outlines of the city street behind it, an effect that blinds the viewer and captures the optical layering that occurs when an eye adjusts to the flat darkness of night. In contrast, an image taken in 2009 flattens pinpoints of purple, pink and turquoise lights, which blur across the two-dimensional composition like expressive, free form gestures of the hands, or a diffusion of comets.

Kawauchi is a member of an emerging group of female Japanese artists, which includes Chiho Aoshima and Eye Ohashi, whose work is increasingly gaining notoriety on the international stage. In opposition to her Japanese male contemporaries such as Nobuyoshi Araki, whose photography is characterized by an aggressive fetish for the subjugation of the female body, and Hiroshima Sugimoto, whose precise black-and-white compositions harness monumental spaces with a burly, almost masculine confidence, Kawauchi's works are, at surface level, distinctively feminine. That is, if femininity can be defined by almost medieval notions of softness and unassuming passivity, a characterization that the artist herself rejects.  "There may be things that only a female can express, but in my works, it something that comes out naturally," she explains. "I'm not doing it consciously."

Text and images courtesy of Interview Magazine.

Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance

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Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance will open at the Gallery at Hermès on 20 May, 2011 and run through 16 July, 2011. This will be the first time this work has been exhibited in a solo show in the United States. Along with the Hermès exhibition, Aperture will release a full illustrated catalogue, which will be the first time Kawauchi's work will be published outside of Japan.

To celebrate this release, Aperture will be hosting an artist talk and book signing on Wednesday 18 May, 2011 in New York City, where Kawauchi will discuss her previously unpublished images with Aperture's Book Publisher Lesley Martin.

Image © Rinko Kawauchi.