HAPPENINGText: Yu Miyakoshi

After 11 years since Rinko Kawauchi‘s debut photo book “Utatane”, “Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow” at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography is her first solo exhibition at a museum in Tokyo.

Photo: Yu Miyakoshi

As Kawauchi herself describes, her photographs are timeless and placeless and created without words in an unwritten law. Therefore, as a writer, I couldn’t inquire into her world in words. If you are planning to go to see the exhibition, please do so before you read this article. I intended to discernible about the contemporary photography, also to share my experience by this article.

The exhibition space is separated into two contradictory spaces. The bright space is filled with the photographs from the “Illuminance” series, in which Kawauchi has spent nearly 15 years shooting since her debut. The “Ametsuchi” in which she photographed with a large format 4×5 inch camera, and “Seeing Shadow” series, are displayed in the darker space.

A photograph from the “Illuminance” series, 2007. Photo: Yu Miyakoshi

As soon as you enter the exhibition space, you will see an image of the stairs from the series of Illuminance. I have never seen the light fall this way and intertwined with nature in the urban city. Last year, Kawauchi published her latest photo book “Illuminance”. At the beginning, the book had a different title, “Iridescence”, which she was inspired from the poem by Kenji Miyazawa.
“The gossamer of dim white mist Iridescent” (From Kenji Miyazawa: “A Joke regarding Ice Properties” in “Spring and Asura”)

“Iridescence” means the state of being colored like a rainbow or like the light shining through a prism. Kawauchi described in the press release that “ the same things look different depending on the feeling of the day. The world has a different point of view.” After the entrance, the series from Illuminance continued in the bright white space. Each work illuminates the light like a wave and is as bright as a reflection.

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