After having been exhibited by various prestigious international institutions, the Japanese artist Rinko KAWAUCHI (born in 1972) presents her photographic work for the first time in Belgium. At Meessen De Clercq, she is showing her latest series under the title Iridescence, while at the Argos Art Centre, Transient Wonders, Everyday Bliss retraces her career over the last few years in a retrospective.
The Japanese language, it is said, states impressions, not observations. Roland Barthes describes this brilliantly in his essay The Empire of Signs. This assertion is quite applicable to Rinko Kawauchi's photographs. For the past decade, she has been publishing books of patiently composed photographs that allow us to understand the texture of her work from the outset.
These textless books illustrate the world; they highlight the forces and properties that govern it and the beings and things that make it up.
Rinko Kawauchi has a deep respect for her surroundings and "knows how to give words to objects". Her gaze is full of flavour, precise and generous, and rests in the interstices of things to reveal their essence. She draws from the reality of moments suspended between instinct and consciousness to remind us that to be rooted is to be "inseparable" from the Earth, and to live this state, it is advisable not to neglect the details or the roughness of things.
Rinko Kawauchi sings of the beauty of the world and its daily movement while exploring the properties, surfaces and sources of life. When she photographs, she allows "things" to express themselves in all their simplicity, their nakedness, their truth one might even say.
She touches this truth because she perceives the object for what it is, but also because she perceives it as a concept. Thus, we constantly detect properties essential to life such as growth, rhythm, density, extension, interweaving, compression, but also flow, dilution, diffraction, elasticity. The list is far from exhaustive.
Poetic reverie exists in this work, but the artist uses no subterfuge to fuel it. She prefers the impromptu, the accidental and even the chaotic to symmetry and clever constructions.
Faced with her photographs, one can feel the strange sensation that light does not only reveal; it also blinds. This paradox is found in the forms and colours which tend to render the opacity of things.
In the end, wouldn't the heart of his purpose be to show that poetry is an organic phenomenon and that it cannot live without the roots that allow it to grow?