In 2001, Rinko Kawauchi launched her career with the simultaneous publication of three astonishing photobooks—Utatane, Hanabi, and Hanako—firmly establishing herself as one of the most innovative newcomers to contemporary photography, not just in Japan, but across the globe. In the years that followed, she published other notable monographs, including Aila (2004), The Eyes, the Ears, (2005), and Semear (2007). And now, ten years after her precipitous entry onto the international stage, Aperture has published Illuminance, the latest volume of Kawauchi’s work and the first to be published outside of Japan.


Kawauchi’s work has frequently been lauded for its nuanced palette and offhand compositional mastery, as well as its ability to incite wonder via careful attention to tiny gestures and the incidental details of her everyday environment. In Illuminance, Kawauchi continues her exploration of the extraordinary in the mundane, drawn to the fundamental cycles of life and the seemingly inadvertent, fractal-like organization of the natural world into formal patterns.


Gorgeously produced as a clothbound volume with Japanese binding, this impressive compilation of mostly previously unpublished images is proof of Kawauchi’s unparalleled, unique sensibility and her ongoing appeal to the lovers of photography.

  • Title

  • Illuminance

  • Design

  • Daniel Bear

  • Size

  • 279 x 220 mm, hard cover, Japanese Binding, 176 pages

  • Text

  • David Chandler

  • Languages

  • English

  • Piece

  • $60

  • ISBN

  • 978-1-59711-144-7

  • Publishers

  • Aperture / Kehrer Verlag / Editions Xavier Barral / POSTCART

  • Year

  • 2011