The serene poetic art of capturing ordinary moments, exemplifying the profundity of the mundane… This is a phrase I would use to depict the basis and soul at work within the photography produced by Rinko Kawauchi, the internationally acclaimed Japanese photographer. Her work a tapestry of diverse modes of perception of the world surrounding her; reminiscent of the world and the different realities surrounding us all.
Kawauchi’s work has been classified into categories of fine art, yet it is true that her work is not so easily categorised.
There is a an extremely strong sense of the documentary at play in her work. The photographs collecting, archiving and documenting specific elements of reality that are then pieced together into strongly narrative yet at the same time elusive stories.
This oneiric documentation is especially evident in Rinko’s work CUI CUI (2005)
CUI CUI a work of more than fifty photographs is the documentation, over 13 years, of Kawauchi’s family and provides an intimate insight into their reality capturing daily events and heavily emotional life moments, birth, death…
The work is presented as a slideshow accompanied by the sounds of nature, leaves rustling, birds singing…
Rinko’s work is heavily associated with family relations, cycles of life and human interaction with nature. Her work reveals life’s fragility and the strongest elements of the human condition.
Rinko believes the act of presenting one’s work is as important as the process and journey of realising and obtaining the images.
“For a photographer, it’s a necessity that you can shoot stuff magically. Accidents are necessary, but after I take a photograph, it is not all done. I continue to work on it.”
Of course this is not a new concept, it is evident in the work of diverse authors of photography; yet although it may be an old concept it is not an entirely accessible path, perhaps not easy to obtain unless one really strives to mark their work from within.
This is what has made Kawauchi’s work stand out from the rest, because something inherently intimate, personal, is stripped back and revealed to us through her photographs, a window into heightened sensibilities, ways of seeing; teaching people to look and revel in the majestic minor details of life.
The following photos are from CUI CUI and other selected works…
“From the black ocean comes the appearance of light and waves. It helps you imagine birth. I want imagination in the photographs I take. It’s like a prologue. You wonder ‘what’s going on?’ you feel something is going to happen…”
“I would define the poetic effect as the capacity that a text displays for continuing to generate different readings, without every being completely consumed…”
Anna Maria Antoinette D’Addario