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Rinko Kawauchi at The Gallery at Hermès

Illuminance

Japanese artist Rinko Kawauchi presents for the first time in the Unites States a selection of photographs entitled Illuminance at The Gallery at Hermès. Her pictures reveal the extraordinary potential of seemingly ordinary subjects.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Rinko Kawauchi at The Gallery at Hermès
© Rinko Kawauchi, Courtesy of the artist and FOIL GALLERY, Tokyo

Created using her Rolleiflex camera, Rinko Kawauchi's Illuminance series captures subjects, transformed by light. Aged 39, the Tokyo-based artist has established herself as one of the strongest voices in contemporary photography. Her images – at once beautiful and disturbing – evoke a strange, sometimes childlike world, constantly revisiting questions of everyday existence, life and death. Photographs in the Illuminance series are suffused with a sense of spirituality and poetry. Light – delicate and over-exposed or sharply contrasted, natural or artificial – is a central element in each. The present US exhibition, curated by Cory Jacobs, also marks the first publication of Rinko Kawauchi's work outside Japan by Aperture.

Kawauchi's book Illuminance follows notably Hanako, Utatane and Hanabi, published simultaneously in 2001 at the start of her distinguished career, marked by numerous awards and honours: she received

In 2001, with the simultaneous publication of three books in Japan, Hanako, Utatane and Hanabi, Kawauchi received instant recognition. She has received many awards and honors including the prestigious Kimura Ihei prize for Utatane and Hanabi in 2002, and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award for art photography in 2009. In 2004, she was invited by British photographer Martin Parr to take part in the Arles international photography festival.

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