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BOOKS

29.11.2017

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The colour black is a prevalent feature in the Japanese photographer’s latest publication. Pulling the volume from the box sleeve reveals a dark hardcover surface embossed with a myriad of shimmering particles. Inside the book, all images are framed by a black border – an arrangement that makes the artist’s landscapes and light phenomena appear all the more magnificent and atmospheric.
The volume ‘Halo’ encompasses three different series: for one of them, the photographer travelled to Japan’s southern coastal region of Izumo, to witness the holy flames being lit to herald the Gods on Inasano Beach. The second project was created in the Chinese province of Hebei, where Kawauchi captured the 500-year-old New Year’s tradition of throwing molten iron against the city wall to create simple fireworks. The third series shows a unique natural phenomenon on the south coast of England: in winter, thousands of starlings gather at the seafront and take to the skies in a spectacular, unified display.
  Natural phenomena, darkness, dusk and reflections of light connect the three projects into a cohesive series of images, linked by an underlying pattern of natural and man-made rituals. The images are strangely hypnotic against the backdrop of the matt-black pages. Blinding cascades of glowing, liquid iron alternate with quiet scenes showing moonlight or calm waves.
Rinko Kawauchi is one of the most prolific and fascinating Japanese photographers of her generation. In 2001, she shot to international acclaim with the simultaneous publication of three photo books. Since then, she has released nine further volumes in quick succession. With her 13th book, the artist has once again managed to create a continual, mysterious atmosphere that brings together our fascination for the earthly and the divine, for the physical and the spiritual.
  The sombre mood arising from the ample use of black may also be a reference to the earthquake, and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear catastrophe that devastated parts of Japan in 2011. The magnificence of natural and cosmic forces, and their power over human lives, is a theme the artist has also alluded to in earlier projects. (Ulrich Rüter)


Rinko Kawauchi, Halo.
96 pages, 48 colour illustrations, English, 22.9 x 31.8 cm, Aperture
www.aperture.org
Rinko Kawauchi: Halo

Rinko Kawauchi

Rinko Kawauchi, born 1972, studied graphic design and photography at the Seian Junior College of Art and Design, graduating in 1993. In 2001, she published her first three photo books (Utatane, Hanabi, and Hanako). A rapid succession of further books, multiple awards and numerous exhibitions have made her one of the most widely-known Japanese photographers of her generation. The artist lives and works in Tokyo.

www.rinkokawauchi.com
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