Nature is omnipresent but is sometimes distorted; the chosen framing, the light intensity or, on the contrary, the deep darkness disrupt an easy interpretation of the image. Kawauchi endeavours to reveal the delicacy and impermanence of the world, to observe lifecycles, to perceive natural phenomena as metaphors of human emotions, while distrusting clichés and stereotypes of what is a ‘good photograph’. The concept of space is crucial in her work, which also conjures up Japanese aesthetics; it is not surprising to find a spring, a waterfall, a river, a lake, a mountain, a tree, undergrowth, a shrine, a cityscape or the sky. Likewise, a concern for detail is preponderant; it produces an ambiguous feeling of intimacy and proximity to the subject of the photograph.
Rinko Kawauchi (°1972, Japan) was shortlisted in 2017 she for the Prix Pictet and received in 2023 the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award 2023. She exhibited at the Fondation Cartier, Paris (France), the Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto and at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan), at the Kunst Haus Vienna (Austria), the Fotomuseum Antwerp (Belgium), at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (USA).