It’s not the first time that I am mentioning Rinko Kawauchi in my blog, but this has a special reason.
I think it was 2003 when Markus Schaden, my local photobook dealer showed me a small photobook by a Japanese women photographer whom I had not heard of at that time. It was “Utatane” (Siesta) by Rinko Kawauchi. “Utatane” caught my attention immediately, since her photography was so much different to any photographer of her generation.”Utatane” is included in vol. 2 of “The Photobook: A History” by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger. See my previous post.
Rinko Kawauchi: Untitled (from the series “Aila”), 2003
Rinko Kawauchi had her first exhibition at the end 1990s only a few years after a new – not to say the first – generation of women photographer had emerged in Japan. Before the mid-1990s, the Japanese photography scene was completely male dominated, but this changed almost over night when the first onna no ko shashinka (girly photographers) entered the scene. Those onna no ko shashinka mostly did a kind of subjective documentary photography influenced by Nan Goldin and Nobuyoshi Araki. These women, amongst them most famous Hiromix and Yurie Nagashima, talked mainly about their own lives. With their spontaneous and direct and dairy like style the young photographers opened a new narrative in the Japanese photography, but soon they reached their own limitations, because of their self centred approach on reality.
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Books on Photography Books
In the last years the interest in Japanese photography books has jumped from non recognition to becoming a must have not only for specialized photo book collectors. Books which were completely unknown outside Japan except to a few well informed collectors and researchers are now sold at high prices by rare book dealers and at auctions.
It all began in 1999 with the exhibition catalogue “Fotografia Publica. Photography in Print 1919-1939”.
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10 questions to Rinko Kawauchi about photography
Recently I wrote a short notice about Rinko Kawauchi’s latest publication “Rinko Diary“. For those who want to read a little bit more about her work, the online magazine PingMag from Tokyo has an interesting interview with Rinko on occasion of her recent exhibition at Photographer’s Gallery, London.
Rinko Kawauchi, one of Japan’s most popular female photographers today, created a sensation across the contemporary photography world in 2001 when she simultaneously released three critically acclaimed photography books: Utatane, Hanabi and Hanako and won the 27th Kimura Ihei Photography Award. Rinko’s publications have continued to amaze the photography world with three more books: Aila, the eyes the ears and Cuicui. She won not only the hearts of the young generation in Japan, but Rinko Kawauchi is said do be the next upcoming photographer – even in London. Being a great fan of Rinko’s work, I jumped on the opportunity to talk to her during her exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in London
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Rinko Kawauchi, one of my absolute favorite Japanese photographers**, has published a new book this week: Rinko Nikki (Rinko Diary). It’s a small book with Japanese text and some small images. Her notes and most of the photographs are taken from the website of her publisher Foil where she is publishing a diary since 2004.
**I will write more about her in the near future. For those who don’t know her work I would higly recommend to have a look into her book “Aila”. Currently works from “Aila” are exhibited at Foto Espana festival (until July 23).
Rinko Kawauchi: Rinko Nikki (Rinko Diary)
Rinko Kawauchi: Aila