Rinko Kawauchi


Rinko Kawauchi, Untitled, from the series of "Illuminance", 2007, 100x100 cm, C-Print © Rinko Kawauchi

Rinko Kawauchi, Untitled, from the series of “Illuminance”, 2007, 100×100 cm, C-Print © Rinko Kawauchi


curated by Elio Grazioli

Under the auspices of the Japan Cultural Institute

times and locations

Palazzo Casotti
piazza Casotti, 1
42121 Reggio Emilia

friday 3rd may open from 6.30 pm to midnight; saturday 4th and sunday 5th may from 10 am to midnight; from 6th may to 16th june open on friday from 7 pm to 11 pm; saturday from 10 am to 11 pm, sunday from 10 am to 9 pm


“Illuminance” is the link established between us and what is real, a beam that emanates and by which an encounter takes place. Kawauchi summarizes her photographic approach as follows: “I concentrate in my work, so that things can happen. When I photograph, I really feel that I am drawing energy from the subject.” The beam of light is the visual sign of this concentration and this energy. It transforms even the simplest, most mundane images, creating a revealing story from an intimate personal diary. The fact that it is a luminous phenomenon can only underscore this peculiarity of being photo-graphic, precisely, of writing with light.
Kawauchi’s gaze transforms what she sees, always finding something else in what she observes. It seems pervaded with a kind of innate wonder in the face of the everyday world, the things and events of life. It is the ability to capture, in the appearance of reality, something of its essence.
In Kawauchi’s photography there is a sense of impermanence, transience, which is typically Asian, though it does not convey a sense of loss but rather conviction and therefore the joy of her vision. This marks the different conception Asians have of time, and along with time inevitably the sense of change and how to confront it.

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Rinko Kawauchi (Shiga, Japan, 1972) Lives and works in Tokyo. In 2001 she simultaneously released a series of three photographic books – Utatane, Hanabi, Hanako from Little More publisher, which created an overnight sensation in the photography world in Japan. In 2002, she was awarded the prestigious 27th Annual Kimura Ihei Award for two of the books, Utatane and Hanabi. Further publications of Rinko Kawauchi, which should be mentioned, are Aila (Foil, 2004), the eyes, the ears, and Cui Cui (Foil, 2005 / both) and Illuminance (Aperture/Foil/Kehrer verlag/Editions Xavier Barral/Portcart,
2011). She received the eminent Annual Infinity Award 2009 by International Center of Photography, USA, in Art Category. Kawauchi has joined and held many group and solo exhibitions both at home and abroad to date, among others, her major solo exhibitions are: 2005 Foundation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris; 2006 The Photographers’ Gallery, London; 2007 AILA + the eyes, the ears, Hasselblad Centre, Göteborg; 2007 Semear Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo; 2008 Cui Cui, The Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka; 2011 Illuminance, Gallery at Hermès, New York. Major group exhibitions include: 2006 Collection of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Museum Contemporary Art, Tokyo; 2008 Blooming: Brazil-Japan Where You Are, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi; Brighton Photo Biennial 2010 New Documents Brighton; Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art Japan Society, New York; Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal. Her unique approach to “drawing senses” and consistent motifs of every day details, as well as circulation of life and its transience has been admired by art lovers all over the world.