Rinko Kawauchi’s Serene, Dream-Like Photography

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Photographs that reveal the beauty and wonder of the everyday.

Rinko Kawauchi studied graphic design and photography before working as a commercial photographer for an advertising agency. Her design background influenced parts of her work, but her simply mesmerizing photographs have a delicate beauty of their own. One could interpret her work as a representation of Shinto, Japan’s indigenous religion whose followers believe that everything – organic, inorganic, or dead – has a spirit. Yet Rinko Kawauchi’s serene photos have even more nuances, subtle as they may be. Using her medium-format Rolleiflex camera, she captures the elegant beauty of intimate moments; the wonder of the natural world; and the poetry of the everyday. Ethereal, peaceful, and thought-provoking, her photographs often feature pale colors and soft lighting as well as misty settings.

In a similar way to a perfectly composed haiku, some photographs also tell a story. Fireworks resemble large feathers; foamy waves allude to a disturbance beneath the surface of the ocean; and a deer lies in a pool of blood on the side of the road near a pastoral landscape. A raging fire in a field seems to have summoned a red dragon, while a burning path leads to a mysteriously dark, smoke-filled place. One perfect snowflake almost shines in a blurry sea of snow; a drop of water glimmers like a diamond in the center of a green leaf; a drop of milk rests on a baby’s chin. Throughout her work, Rinko Kawauchi skillfully and gently uncovers the beauty of everything around us in photographs full of soul. Photographs© Rinko Kawauchi.

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