Book Reviews

, Illuminance, Aperture, 2017

Blue and green at eighty percent or at least fifty. Wind, newborns, wuthering heights of decaying trees and decayed fish. There is little of imaginary and a lot of that "trivial exceptional" incredibly represented in Illuminance (Weightless Light, in the original American version).


As suggested by David Chandler, essayist of the book, and like a lullaby, this fabulous book basically tells the author's world of passions through single and masterful lonelinesses.
Epistemologically intended as a semiotic investigation, reproducing the outstanding common is the leitmotif of Rinko Kawauchi that, at the twelfth publication, boasts a vastly elegiac repertoire of solitary images.


The purity, combined with the custom of the photographic gesture, ferries into that particular feminine complicity in which perhaps the most powerful and radical action lies right in revealing the pleasure of repetition, a guarantee for the reader in love.


The exhibition, which has become comforting, enhances a sense of belonging that binds textually to the story, extirpates the breath till the last photo, seemingly marginal but powerfully unique.


Here is, discovered, a new photographic approach, very instinctive and highly informal, straightforward and insatiable, in which the author lives bipolarity between sincerity and correctness of images and a wonderful optical illusion. The epiphany of a game, a ring-around-the-rosey of images in the combination of a revival.
Although the recording of reality is a rule, parallel to this direction, R.W. paves the way to the invention of an almost surgical refinement, to the likelihood of her own fantasies and of those mental images that recreate a reality anything but real, rather D'Annunzio-wise encrypted in sophisticated and theatrical directions.


This is the narrative building of Illuminance, manufactured with the slow attitude, typical of the Eastern society, which makes foresee a long and patient wait and that leaves us, eccentric spectators of the West, disarmed, in a perspective where sensorial triggers are measured with acts of magic.


The Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi (born in Shiga, Japan 1972) studied graphic design and photography at Seian Junior College of Art and Design. She entered the photography scene in 2001 simultaneously publishing three photography albums — Utatane (Catnap), Hanabi (Fireworks) and Hanako (Fiore di bambina). After Illuminace she published Light and Shadow and Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow.

She won the 27th Ihei Kimura Photography Award, 2002; and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award in Art, 2009, and was shortlisted for the 2012 Deutsche Borse prize. Solo exhibitions include: Fondation Cartier, Paris; Photographers' Gallery, London; Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan; Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden; and Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo.

Solo exhibition Illuminance is held in may, 2011 at Hermès Gallery (NY).
Illuminance presents 176 photographs taken over 15 years, which are sublimating the world of UTATANE. It's published in 5 different countries.
R.K. is in Tokyo, where she lives and works.

Number of pages:
352 pages
11.3 x 8.7 x 1.2 inches

Curated by Valentina Isceri

Translated by Emanuele Spedicato