Rinko Kawauchi

The artist was born in Shiga, Japan, in 1972. She currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Kawauchi burst on the international scene in 2001 when she was awarded the Kimura-Ihei-Prize, Japan’s most important emerging talent photography prize, shortly followed by the simultaneous publication of three beautiful books, Utatane (Catnap), Hanabi (Fireworks), and Hanako, her very personal study of a young girl of the same name. Met with great critical acclaim, these “visual essays” demonstrate her finesse and skill of telling a photographic tale. Since this triple-debut, the artist has gone to publish another eleven books, the newest of which are Illuminance and Ametsuchi. Kawauchi, currently one of the most famed contemporary female Asian artists, is a recipient the eminent Annual Infinity Award (2009) from New York’s International Centre of Photography, in the category Art, and similarly was shortlisted in 2012 for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. She has joined and held many group and solo shows both at home and abroad, with major solo exhibitions in the Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain in Paris, London’s The Photographers’ Gallery, the Hasselblad Centre in Gothenburg, Semear Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo, the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum in Shizuoka, or Brussels’ ARGOS Centre for Art & Media. Major group exhibitions to date include those at Munich’s Haus der Kunst, the Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Museum of Contemporary Art, inTokyo, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art in Aichi, or the Brighton Photo Biennial 2010: New Documents. Her unique approach is like a “drawing senses”, embracing motifs of every day details as well as cycle of life and its transience, and has been admired by art lovers all over the world.



Graduated Seian University of Art and Design (ex Seian Women’s College)

Solo Exhibitions


“Rinko Kawauchi – a faraway shining star, twinkling in hand”, Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden


“Rinko Kawauchi – Ametsuchi, Illuminance, Aila, Utatane”, Priska Pasquer, Paris, France

Rinko Kawauchi, Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, Somerset House, UK


“Rinko Kawauchi – A Retrospective”, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland

“Rinko Kawauchi: M/E ―On this sphere Endlessly interlinking”, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo / Shiga Museum of Art, Shiga, Japan

"Making Daidai Shoten", Rainy Day Bookstore & Café, Tokyo / Daidai Book Shop, Kumamoto, Japan

"Rinko Kawauchi and Yamanami Kobo", umi no schole, Shiga, Japan


"Under the same sky", MA2 Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

"as it is", gallery trax, Yamanashi, Japan

"A DROP", TEATON / PHAETON, Kanazawa, Japan

"M/E", Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store Main Building 6F contemporary Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


"as it is", POST, Tokyo / RAURAUJI gallery, Osaka, Japan


"Days about" Atelier Yamanami, HOTEL ANTEROOM KYOTO (GALLERY 9.5), Kyoto / Gallery TUTUMU, Shiga, Japan

"When I was seven.", agnès b. galerie boutique, Tokyo, Japan


"Someday for Sure", Gallery TUTUMU, Shiga, Japan

"A New Day", POST, Tokyo / Orange, Kumamoto, Japan

"Halo", foto-forum, Italy


"Halo", POST, Tokyo / Morioka Shoten, Tokyo

„Halo“, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland


„The river embraced me“, Meessen De Clercq, Bruxelles, Belgium

„The rain of blessing“, Gallery 916, Tokyo, Japan

„Rinko Kawauchi: The river embraced me“, Contemporary Museum, Kumamoto, Japan

„Someday for sure“, Orange, Kumamoto / gallery trax, Yamanashi, Japan

"Till The Day", NOMA t.d. store, Tokyo, Japan


„Let’s sing a song our bodies know“, GUCCI Shinjuku 3F, Tokyo, Japan

„Illuminance“, Kunst Haus Wien, Vienna, Austria


„Light and Shadow“, Colissimo, Hyogo

„Ametsuchi“, Main Gallery Lesley University College of Art and Design, Cambridge, USA

„New Pictures 9“, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, USA


„Ametsuchi”, Galerie Priska Parquer, Cologne

„Light and Shadow”, KAGIYA Building 4F Gallery, Hamamatsu “Ametsuchi”, Aperture Gallery, New York

„Light and Shadow”, msc Gallery, Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, Kyoto, Japan

„Ametsuchi”, Rose Gallery, Santa Monica, USA

„Illuminance”, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland


„Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan

„Light and Shadow”, TRAUMARIS, Tokyo, Japan


„A Glimmer in Silence”, FO.KU.S Kunst Stadtforum, Innsbruck, Austria

„Illuminance”, FOIL GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan

„Illuminance”, Gallery at Hermès, New York, USA

„murmuration”, Rose Gallery, Los Angels, USA


„the eyes, the ears”, Kunstverein Augsburg e.V., Augsburg, Germany

„A Glimmer in Silence”, Galeria Priska Pasquer, Cologne, Germany

„AILA”, Seian University of Art and Design, Shiga, Japan

„I ridescence”, Meessen De Clercq, Brussels, Belgium

“Rinko Kawauchi: Transient Wonders, Everyday Bliss“ – Photography, Video and Slides, ARGOS Centre for Art and Media, Brussels, Belgium


„Condensation”, Mountain Fold Gallery, New York, USA

„a pause”, GALLERY TRAX, Yamanashi, Japan


„Rinko Kawauchi”, Antoine de Vilmorin, Paris, France

“Cui Cui”, The Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka, Japan

„Semear”, FOIL GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan

„UTATANE”, Galeria Pepe Cobo, Madrid, Spain


„Cohan and Leslie”, New York, USA

„Semear”, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

„AILA + the eyes, the ears”, Fotografins Hus, Stockholm, Sweden

„AILA + the eyes, the ears”, Hasselblad Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden


„AILA + the eyes, the ears”, FOTOGRAFISK CENTER, Copenhagen, Denmark

Galerie Priska Pasquer, Cologne, Germany

„AILA + the eyes, the ears”, Galeria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy

„Rinko Kawauchi”, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, England


„AILA + Cui Cui + the eyes, the ears”, Foundation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris, France

„AILA”, Kanaz Forest of Creation, Fukui, Japan

„AILA”, Cohan and Leslie, New York, USA

„Cui Cui”, QUATRE Florence, Italy


„AILA”, California Museum of Photography, UC Riverside, USA

„UTATANE”, Cohan and Leslie, New York, USA

„AILA”, Little More Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


„HANABI”, white cube, Kyoto, Japan

„HANABI”, Little More Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

„Blue”, Rocket Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

„Rinko Kawauchi”, 4F Gallery, Los Angels, USA

„Wacall photo exhibition”, SPIRAL GARDEN, Tokyo, Japan

„UTATANE”, vonrot gallery, Berlin, Germany


„HANABI”, Little More Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

„UTATANE”, Colette, Paris, France


„UTATANE”, Parco Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

„HANABI”, Gray, Tokyo, Japan

„HANAKO”, Little More Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

„HIBI”, Aki-Ex Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


„HITOIKI”, Light Works, Kanagawa, Japan


„UTATANE”, Guardian Garden, Tokyo, Japan

Group Exhibitions


MIA Fair Milano, Christophe Guye Galerie, Milan, Italy

"Print & Craft Showcase: Known Points" Form & Concept, Santa Fe NM, USA


"Winter Interlude" Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland

"Collection Exhibition 1 – It knows : When Forms Become Mind", 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan

"Wabi Sabi", Japanmuseum SieboldHuis, Netherlands

"I have not loved (enough or worked)", The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA), Australia


Art & New Ecology, THE UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM / The 5th Floor, Tokyo

20th anniversary of opening Exhibition "Flower of Life", Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka

The Ateliers of Wonders, HOMO FABER,

Rinko Kawauchi and Yamanami Kobo, Higashi Osaka City Art Center, Osaka


The Prix Pictet Fire exhibition tour

Thailand Biennale 2021, Thailand

WAYS OF TELLING, Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery, Tokyo

CHIBA FOTO, Chiba Chuo Community Center, Matsunami Annex


The Sense of Wonder into another garden, Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum

Timeless Conversations 2020: Voices from Japanese Art of the Past and Present, The National Art Center, Tokyo


CAMK Collection Exhibition, Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan

Miffy's Field of Flowers: The World of Dick Bruna Picture Books, Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka TOP Collection, Japan

Reading Images: The Time of Photography, TOP MUSEUM, Tokyo, Japan

Lianzhou Foto Festival 15th Edition, China


"Forever (and again)", IZU PHOTO MUSEUM, Shizuoka, Japan

"A Matter of Light", PALAZZO REALE, Mailand, Italy

"Asama International Photo Festival", Nagano, Japan

"A Beautiful Moment", Huis Marseille, Amsterda, Netherlande

"25th Anniversary in Gallery Trax vol.I", gallery trax, Yamanashi, Japan

"Incognito: The Eye in Search, The 6th SIPF 2018 Festival", Singapore

"TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2018", National Portrait Gallery, Londo, England


"Prix Pictet", V&A Museum, London / CAMERA, Torino "Seize the Uncertain Day", Chinretsukan Gallery (The University Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts), Tokyo, Japan

"Somewhere I Have Never Travelled", URANO, Tokyo, Japan

"Japanorama. A new vision on art since 1970" Centre Pompidou-Metz, France


„Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now“, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA

"Genius loci" – The Higashikawa Awards –, Towada Art Center, Aomori, Japan


„In the Wake Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11”, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

„The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”, Getty Center, Los Angeles, USA


„INAUGURAL EXHIBITION, SHERRICK & PAUL BIWAKO”, Bienna Shiga,Paraty en Foco en festa, Paraty, Brazil

„Rinko Kawauchi×NOMA”, t.d. gallery trax,Yamanashi / TRAUMARIS, Tokyo / rizm, Hyogo, Japan

„Landskrona Fotofestival 2014”, Landskrona, Sweden

„Photography will be”, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya, Japan

„VIVID MEMORIES”, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France


„Exhibition of the 29th Higashikawa Award Winners“, Higashikawa Bunka Gallery, Hokkaido, Japan

„The Aesthetics of Photography - Five Elements Collection Exhibition 2013“, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan

„Fotografia Europea“, Reggio Emilia, Italy


„Daegu Photo Biennale 2012”, Daegu, Korea

„Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012”, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, England

„To Wander a Garden”, The Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka, Japan

„Visible / Invisible”, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan


„FotoGrafia” - Festival Internazionale di Roma, Rome, Italy

„Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg”, Mannheim, Germany

„Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal”, Montréal, Canada

„Colloquy and Soliloquy”, Mountain Fold Gallery, New York, USA

„Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art curated by David Elliott”, Society, New York, USA


„The 6th Lianzhou Photography Festival”, Lianzhou, China

„Brighton Photo Biennial 2010 New Documents curated by Martin Parr”, Brighton, UK

„Summer Loves, Huis Marseille”, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

„Kassel Fotobook Festival 2010”, Documenta Halle, Kassel, Germany


„Touch the World Borderless”, Art Museum NO-MA, Shiga, Shiga

„Photography Now “ China, Japan, Korea San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA

„Parrworld”, Jeu de Paume, Paris; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK

„FotoGrafia Festival International in Roma Palazzo delle Esposizioni”, Rome, Italy

„Verdure! New Acquisitions and Related Works of the Collection”, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan


„Blooming: Brazil-Japan Where You Are”, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan

„Parrworld”, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany


„Curator’s Choice ’07: Museum Dialogues”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan


„A to Z by Yoshitomo Nara + graf”, Yoshii Brick House, Aomori, Japan

„PHotoEspaña 2006”, Madrid, Spain

„Collection of the Foundation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain”, Museum Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan

„Whisper not!”, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


„Lonely Planet”, Art Tower Mito Contemporary Art Center, Mito, Japan

„AILA & UTATANE”, Recontres d’Arles Photographie, France


„Love Planet”, The 41st Okayama City Arts Festival Program, Okayama, Japan

„HOPE”, Laforet Museum, Tokyo, Japan

„OIL”, Litte More Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


„Kimura Iehei Award Winners Exhibition Minolta”, Photo Space Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan


„Hinata Kanata”, Landmark Tower Gallery, Kanagawa, Japan



The 29th Higashikawa Award, Domestic Photographer Award

Art Encourage Prize for New Artist from the Ministry of Education


shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize


ICP 25th Annual Infinity Award, Art Category


Winner of the 27th Kimura Ihei Award

The Photographic Society of Japan, the Rookie of the Year Award


Grand Prix Prize, The Guardian Garden’s 9th Hitotsubo Award



Illuminance: The Tenth Anniversary Edition, 2021 (Aperture, NY)

Des oiseaux(On birds)(Editions Xavier Barral, Paris)


as it is (Chose Commune, Marseille)


When I was seven., HeHe


A New Day, Kyuryudo


Halo (Aperture, NY / HeHe, Tokyo / Editions Xavier Barral, Paris)


The river embraced me (torch press)


Gift with Terri Weifenbach (IMA Photo Book)

Kirakira with Leiko Ikemura (NOHARA)


SHEETS (Kominek)

Ametsuchi (Apertur, NY/Seigensha, Kyoto)


Light and Shadow (Rinko Kawauchi Office)

Illuminance, Amtsuchi, Seeing Shadow (Seigensha, Kyoto)


Illuminance (Apertur, NY/FOIL, Tokyo)


Murmuration (Photowork, UK)


Semear (FOIL,Tokyo)

Majun (FOIL, Tokyo)


Rinko, Diary II (FOIL, Tokyo)

Rinko, Diary (FOIL, Tokyo)


Cui Cui (FOIL, Foundation Cartier pour l'art Contemporaim, Actes Sud)

the eyes, the ears, (FOIL, Tokyo)


AILA (FOIL, Tokyo)


blue (Petit Grand Publishing, Tokyo)


UTATANE (Little More, Tokyo) – 2nd edition 2012

HANABI (Little More, Tokyo) – 2nd edition 2009

HANAKO (Little More, Tokyo)


The Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka

Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo

Foundation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris

Huis Marseille, Amsterdam

Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, São Paulo

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

Montréal Museum, Montréal

Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto