All photographers rely on light, but Rinko Kawauchi seems to harness it. She observes the most fleeting, yet ordinary moments and reveals their extraordinary nature. Whether photographing a small frog on her father’s palm or a solar eclipse, Kawauchi creates a never-ending narrative that reads as a kind of visual poetry. Her new body of work, Illuminance, is presented as a solo show for the first time in the United States at the Gallery at Hèrmes and will be on view beginning May 20, 2011 .

Armed with her Rolleiflex camera and its square format, Kawauchi often captures the world from an almost childlike perspective filled with secrets and the sublime: a dead swallow, a glowing rose, a bubble. But it is the light and her singular palette that transform these subjects into Aperture is publishing llluminance, the latest volume of Kawauchi’s work and the first to be published outside of Japan. It features an impressive compilation of previously unpublished images and an essay by curator, writer and former director of Photoworks.

Rinko Kawauchi was born in Shiga, Japan, in 1972, and studied graphic design and photography at Seian Junior College of Art and Design. Among her awards and accolades are the 1997 Grand Prix Prize at the Guardian Garden’s 9th Hitotsubo Exhibition, the 27th Ihei Kimura Photography Award in 2002, and the 2009 International Center of Photography Infinity Award in Art. She has had solo exhibitions at Photographers’ Gallery, London; Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan; Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden; and Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, among other international venues. Kawauchi lives and works in Tokyo.

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