Rinko Kawauchi: M/E On this sphere Endlessly interlinking

Rinko Kawauchi

$36.96 (+tax)


Photographer Rinko Kawauchi (1972–), known for her expressive mastery of gentle color suffused with light, has revealed the mystery, radiance, frailty, and strength of life in all its forms since her earliest works. Her gaze falls equally on the fragile and delicate beings in her immediate vicinity, be they flora and fauna or family members, and the vast workings of the earth, such as volcanoes and glaciers formed over long eons. The unique sensibility underlying her photography reveals the connections between these subjects, which all shimmer with the same vital glow. This will be her first major exhibition in Japan in six years, showcasing the essence of Kawauchi’s oeuvre through work from the past decade combined with never-before-seen images from her archives.
M/E, the main subject of this exhibition and inspiration for its title, is a new series Kawauchi began shooting in 2019. The letters stand for “Mother” and “Earth,” combining to form both “Mother Earth” and “Me.” At a glance, the series’ images of Iceland’s volcanoes and ice floes and Hokkaido’s snowy landscapes may seem distant and unrelated to the everyday scenes from the COVID-19 pandemic that accompany them in the series. However, both types of image depict events now taking place on the planet we live on, and Kawauchi’s artistry alerts us to the connection between them. This exhibition invites the viewer to reconsider a range of questions about the workings of human life and our relationship with nature.
In this exhibition catalog, Kawauchi herself has composed a sequence that allows visitors to relive the three-dimensional exhibition space, from the core series of the exhibition such as the new “M/E,” the yet unpublished “4%,” and “An interlinking” with new images, to her latest video work. The exhibition also includes a conversation with Haruo Saji, who was an influence on Kawauchi’s practice, and three essays, of which one is written by Masatake Shinohara, exploring the current state of Kawauchi’s work through both imagery and text. By changing the format and paper for each series, despite its simple binding, the book becomes a multilayered volume that embodies the depth of the exhibition.



Artist’s Statement


 - 4%

 - One surface

 - An interlinking

 - Light and Shadow

 - Ametsuchi

 - M/E

 - Video Works

 - Yamanami

Dialogue: World and Universe Reflecting Each Other Rinko Kawauchi and Haruo Saji

M/E: Distance in Self/Earth/Universe and Photography by Hana Takigami, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

Endlessly Interlinking: In the realm of pre-linguistic relationships by Yasuhiro Arai, Shiga Museum of Art

Series Descriptions



List of Works

Rinko Kawauchi: M/E On this sphere Endlessly interlinking

October 8 – December 18, 2022

Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

*Touring:January 21 – March 36, 2023 at Shiga Museum of Art



Size: 285 × 225m / Soft Cover / 224P

Texts: Masatake Shinohara, Hana Takigami (Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery), Yasuhiro Arai (Shiga Museum of Art)

Edit: torch press

Design: Yuri Suyama

Languages: Japanese / English
Price: 3545 yen

Publisher: The Asahi Shimbun

Year: 2022



Rinko Kawauchi

Born in 1972 in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Awarded the prestigious 27th Kimura Ihei Award in 2002 for UTATANE and HANABI (Little More). Other noteworthy publications include AILA (2005), the eyes, the ears and Cui Cui (both 2005), Illuminance (2011, revised 2021), and Ametsuchi (2013). Received the ICP 25th Annual Infinity Award, Art Category in 2009 and the 63rd Art Encouragement Prize for New Artists from the Ministry of Education in 2013. Major solo exhibitions in Japan include Cui Cui at the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum (Shizuoka, 2008); Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (2012); and Rinko Kawauchi: The river embraced me at the Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto (2016). Recent publications include Des oiseaux, Illuminance: The Tenth Anniversay Edition and Yamanami.