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Rinko Kawauchi: Illuminance Hardcover – July 31, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kawauchi is a master at grasping dreamlike moments, both profound and banal, with incredible detail: swirling surf, a translucent small frog perched on the edge of a hand, a child intensely focusing on a tiny speck on the sidewalk. As David Chandler writes in an essay that accompanies Kawauchi’s pictures, which were taken over the last 15 years, “Recorded are the rhythms of this life, rather than its set pieces: a breath, a touch, and a glance, the things that happen inside the moment and that can never be clearly seen.” (New York Magazine)

An exquisitely produced monograph with wide international distribution. This book should make Rinko a household name. (Alec Soth Little Brown Mushroom)

Sensitively designed, Illuminance packs 144 photographs into its 163 French-fold pages. Yet by foregoing individual titles, captions, and page numbers one is left to really look at the images - their uncanny juxtapositions and accumulated connections. The cropped details, emotive over-exposures, and blurred movements actually perform a complex choreography, both in the camera and at the editing stage. For better or worse Japanese photobooks often go without essays to "contextualize" the work, yet here an appended essay by David Chandler notably cites what Kawauchi has referred to as the "constant present" to describe the elliptical sense of time permeating her enigmatic oeuvre. (Olivier Krischer ArtAsiaPacific)

The work of this Japanese photographer always looks better in book form, where, printed one per page and carefully sequenced, her images―delicate, intimate, reticent but never cryptic―an be absorbed slowly, and her tougher, more jolting photos can better deliver their punch. Illuminance gathers work from the last 15 years: a gangly spider; a hole in a rock, filled with water; a doll-like blossom, washed out by flash; a dead, bloodied deer by the side of the road. The book is cinematic in its steady buildup of images that create a mood, and then break it. This kind of thing is hard to sustain, but just when Kawauchi's approach to the poetic snapshot starts to look familiar, it takes a turn for the weird. (Stephen Maine Art in America)

Ten years on from her extraordinary first book, Aila, Kawauchi continues her journey into the heightened everyday. That same mix of intimacy and deceptively casual observation holds sway and the end results remain singularly beautiful. (Sean O'Hagan The Guardian)

Rinko Kawauchi's Illuminance (Aperture) could be the year's most beautiful photo book… With Illuminance, Kawauchi clarifies what Chandler calls her "spirit of accelerated wonder," summing up her considerable achievement while leaving it marvelously expansive and open-ended. (Vince Aletti Photograph Magazine)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture; First Edition edition (July 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597111449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597111447
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.2 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Geoffrey P. Smith on July 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This lovely book is another Aperture production of excellence, and reminds us that photography is a vision thing. No theme, other than attention paid to living things and their individual plights as well as the beautiful details we all live with but mostly overlook. Wonderful, imaginative use of a vintage camera (Rolleiflex) and good old film. The image is everything....kudos to the photograoher and Aperture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The presentation is amazing, the paper, the print -- everything comes together so well in this Kawauchi book that I felt full of emotion as I turned each page. My face actually grew tired of emoting, loving each image.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very generous selection of images, beautifully reproduced (no page numbers). There is a very specific, and unique, sensibility at work, at once strictly controlled and extensively variegated: the range of her imagination is far-reaching. The color pallet is under saturated, the focus soft or off but there is a lot of technique at work in producing images of such casual beauty and disturbing mystery. In one way, the pictures are a kind of homage to the Rolleiflex, getting results that I would have thought impossible.

Is there anybody like her?
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By yn on December 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such a magical, and whimsical book. It has a childlike innocence that makes you see the world in a new way. It's printed incredibly well and I highly recommend it!
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