Published by Kominek Books. Edited by Rinko Kawauchi, Misha Kominek.
With every new publication, acclaimed Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi (born 1972) reimagines the terms of both her own work and the photo book as a form, while retaining her special capacity to depict the world with a palpable delight and awe. Sheets continues this adventurous trajectory. It consists of contact sheets from a variety of Kawauchi’s previous projects, re-edited here as a cinematic narrative or scrapbook, with gatefolds interspersed throughout to punctuate the strongly rhythmic character created by the contact sheets’ black frames. At once emphatically ordinary and lusciously transcendent, these color images of veiny palm fronds and water droplets on lotus leaves, waterfalls, birds, butterflies, open skies, domestic activities, bleached-out beach scenes and street lamps aglow at night celebrate ephemeral luminosity and everyday epiphanies. Sequenced by Kawauchi and publisher/editor Misha Kominek, and designed by Kominek and Claudia Ott, this hardcover volume opens up a new dimension on Kawauchi’s much-admired oeuvre.
PUBLISHER KOMINEK BOOKS
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 5.5 x 8.25 in. / 152 pgs / 62 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS PUB DATE 4/30/2014 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE CATALOG: SPRING 2014 p. 92
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9783981510539TRADE LIST PRICE: $75.00 CDN $90.00
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Rinko Kawauchi has gained international recognition for her nuanced, lushly colored images that offer closely observed fragments of everyday life. In her latest work, she shifts her attention from the micro to the macro. The title, Ametsuchi, is composed of two Japanese characters meaning "heaven and earth," and is taken from the title of one of the oldest pangrams in Japanese-a chant in which each character of the Japanese syllabary is used. Translated loosely as "Song of the Universe," it comprises a list that includes the heavens, earth, stars and mountains. In Ametsuchi, Kawauchi brings together images of distant constellations and tiny figures lost within landscapes, as well as photographs of a traditional controlled burn farming method (yakihata) in which the cycles of cultivation and recovery span decades and generations. Punctuating the series are images of Buddhist rituals and other religious ceremonies-a suggestion of other means by which humankind has traditionally attempted to transcend time and memory. The book is designed by award-winning Dutch designer Hans Gremmen, who brings a sense of the monumental and the mysterious to the design, including a seductive origami binding. The series is Kawauchi's first to be fully realized with a medium-format, 4 x 5 camera, instead of the 2-?-inch format for which she has become best known. And while her work has frequently touched on the ephemeral, often using tiny details as a point of access to the larger cycles of life, with this new body of work, she purposely concentrates on the elemental and universal. The book is designed by award-winning Dutch designer Hans Gremmen, who brings a sense of the monumental and the mysterious to the design, including a seductive origami binding that offers a hint at the spiritual and philosophical currents running throughout the work. As Gremmen explains, "the book is bound in a variation of Japanese binding. In regular Japanese binding you fold the paper in such a way that the sides are closed. In this book the closed side is at the top of the page; the sides and bottom are open. This results in a book that introduces a 'parallel world' on the inside of the pages, in which some images are printed in inverted colors. By inverting the images, the existential and poetic nature of Kawauchi's work is enlarged: fire turns into water, night turns into day."
In 2001, Rinko Kawauchi launched her career with the simultaneous publication of three astonishing photobooks--Utatane, Hanabi and Hanako--firmly establishing herself as one of the most innovative newcomers to contemporary photography, not just in Japan, but across the globe. In the years that followed, she published other notable monographs, including Aila (2004), The Eyes, the Ear (2005) and Semear (2007). And now, ten years after her precipitous entry onto the international stage, Aperture has published Illuminance, the latest volume of Kawauchi's work and the first to be published outside of Japan. Kawauchi's photography has frequently been lauded for its nuanced palette and offhand compositional mastery, as well as its ability to incite wonder via careful attention to tiny gestures and the incidental details of her everyday environment. As Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2006, noted, "there is always some glimmer of hope and humanity, some sense of wonder at work in the rendering of the intimate and fragile." In Illuminance, Kawauchi continues her exploration of the extraordinary in the mundane, drawn to the fundamental cycles of life and the seemingly inadvertent, fractal-like organization of the natural world into formal patterns. Gorgeously produced as a clothbound volume with Japanese binding, this impressive compilation of previously unpublished images--which garnered Kawauchi a nomination for the Deutsche Börse Prize--is proof of her unique sensibility and ongoing appeal to lovers of photography.