In 2001, Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi published three astonishing photobooks simultaneously—Utatane, Hanabi, and Hanako—and established herself as one of the most innovative newcomers to contemporary photography. Her work was frequently 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. Now, ten years after her precipitous entry onto the international stage, Aperture has published Illuminance, the first volume of Kawauchi’s work to be published outside of Japan.
In Illuminance, Rinko Kawauchi continues her exploration of the extraordinary in the mundane, drawn as she is to the fundamental cycles of life and to the fact that the seemingly inadvertent, fractal-like organization of the natural world resolve into formal patterns.
Gorgeously reprinted, bound in deep-blue cloth with Japanese binding, this impressive compilation of mostly previously unpublished images is proof of Kawauchi’s unparalleled, unique sensibility and her ongoing appeal to lovers of photography.