Photographs by Rinko Kawauchi. Text by David Chandler.
Aperture, 2011. 352 pp., 130 color illustrations, 8½x11".
Now in its second edition. Due Sept. 2012.
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impressive compilation of previously unpublished images is
proof of Kawauchi’s unique sensibility and her ongoing appeal
to lovers of photography.
Read Nicholas Chiarella’s review of Illuminance in photo-eye Magazine.