Rinko Kawauchi was born in 1972 in Shiga Prefecture. She began photographing while studying graphic design at junior college. In 2001, she made a spectacular debut by simultaneously releasing a series of three photographic books UTATANE, HANABI, and HANAKO, and was awarded the 27th Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award for UTATANE and HANABI.
Kawauchi captures scenes of everyday life that might otherwise be overlooked. Seen through the well-attuned eyes of the artist, ordinary objects and occurrences become charged with beauty, poetry and emotion. Arranging her images in a way that reveals unexpected conflations of forms, moods or atmospheres, Kawauchi creates subtle, open-ended narratives that encourage us to engage with the infinite wonders of the world.
Her solo exhibitions include “Rinko Kawauchi: The river embraced me,” the Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto (2016); “Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow,” the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo (2012); “Cui Cui,” the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka (2008); “Semear,” the Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2007); “AILA + the eyes, the ears,” Hasselblad Centre, Göteborg, Sweden (2007); “AILA + Cui Cui + the eyes, the ears,” Foundation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris, France (2005); traveled to: The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK (2006).
She received the 29th Higashikawa Native Japanese Artist Award (2012), the 63rd Ministry of Cultural Affairs Newcomer of the Year award (2012), the Infinity Award in the Arts Category by the International Center of Photography (2009) and the 27th Kimura Ihei Memorial Photography Award (2002).