Rinko Kawauchi is a Japanese photographer known for her lyrical images capturing natural phenomena in images characterised by a serene, poetic quality. Inspired by the Shinto religion as well as the works of Irving Penn, Kawauchi’s photographs capture ordinary moments with a profound almost hallucinatory perspective.
People rarely appear in her images, which range in subject from city streets, flowers, and oceans, to a deer lying dead on the side of a road. In a series titled “Illuminance”, Kawauchi evokes ideas of dreams, temporality, and the divine – in one image for example, taken at the base of subway stairs, commuters climb to the station’s exit as a ray of diffuse sunlight descends the stairs, bringing a transcendency to the mundane..
“It’s not enough that the photograph is beautiful,” she has said. “If it doesn’t move my heart, it won’t move anyone else’s heart.” Kawauchi puts careful thought into the sequencing and juxtaposition of her images.