Aperture is pleased to present Ametsuchi, Rinko Kawauchi’s latest work, in which she shifts her attention from the micro to the macro. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the book released by Aperture in spring 2013. The title is comprised of two Japanese characters meaning “heaven and earth,” and is taken from the title of one of the oldest pangrams in Japanese—a chant in which each character of the Japanese syllabary is used. In Ametsuchi, Kawauchi brings together images of distant constellations and tiny figures lost within landscapes, as well as photographs of a traditional style of controlled-burn farming (nokayi) in which the cycles of cultivation and recovery span decades and generations. Punctuating the series are images of Buddhist rituals and other religious ceremonies—a suggestion of other means by which humankind has traditionally attempted to transcend time and memory.
Born in Shiga, Japan, in 1972, Rinko Kawauchi lives and works in Tokyo. She began her career with the sensational, simultaneous publication of three books: UTATANE, HANABI, and HANAKO (Little More, 2001). With these works, she became recognized for her uncanny ability to photographically transform everyday details into significant existential ruminations. Since her debut, Kawauchi has published numerous monographs, including Illuminance (Aperture, 2011) and Ametsuchi (Aperture, 2013), and has been widely exhibited, including shows at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; ARGOS Centre for Art and Media, Brussels; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; Photographers’ Gallery, London; and Foundation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris. Kawauchi received a 2009 ICP Infinity Award and took the Grand Prix Prize at the Guardian Garden’s 9th Hitotsubo Exhibition in 1997.
This exhibition is coproduced by Aperture Foundation and ROSEGALLERY.