Rinko Kawauchi


She is one of the brightest stars on the Japanese art scene. And now Rinko Kawauchi will be holding her first major exhibition in Sweden. On January 19, Fotografiska Stockholm opens its doors for the exhibition a faraway shining star, twinkling in hand – where photos of grand natural phenomena meet quiet everyday moments.

“I feel very honored to be having a solo exhibition here,” says Rinko Kawauchi.

Rinko Kawauchi is one of the most established artists in Japan and known worldwide for her dreamy, poetic and unique imagery. The new exhibition a faraway shining star, twinkling in hand features over 40 works from the artist’s two most recent series, M/E and An interlinking. These works include everything from photographs to video art, light boxes and photo sculptures.

The M/E series is a tribute to “Mother Earth”, with photos of grand natural phenomena from Kawauchi’s trip to Iceland in 2019. She planned to return to the country to finish the series but was forced to remain in Japan when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. This led to completing the second part of the series with photos from her everyday life and from winter in Hokkaido, Japan. In the ongoing An interlinking series, Kawauchi has depicted her everyday life for 20 years. Taking both a micro and macro perspective has become significant for Kawauchi’s artistry, an approach that becomes particularly apparent in the contrast of these two series: small everyday situations in the face of grand natural phenomena. The letters M/E can also be read as “me” and refer to the connection between the small individual and the massive “Mother Earth”.

“When I visited Iceland in the summer of 2019, I saw geysers like the planet’s breath and glaciers far beyond any human time,” says Rinko Kawauchi, linking her experiences in nature with life at home with her daughter: “My aging and my daughter’s development proceed equally; will warming continue the same way, until the glaciers I once saw are melted away? Everything is connected to the life we find before us. Even if we cannot stop ourselves heading toward death, surely we can improve the place where we live. When I wrote out those two letters, I felt a connection between all things on the planet, from those so vast their full form cannot be surveyed with the naked eye to the tiniest individuals.”

Rinko Kawauchi currently lives and works in Chiba, Japan. She burst onto the international scene in 2001, when she received the Kimura Ihei Photography Award, Japan’s most important photography prize for emerging talent, and published the books Utatane (Catnap), Hanabi (Fireworks), and Hanako. Since this triple debut, she has published another 27 books and has been awarded the eminent Annual Infinity Award (2009) from the International Center of Photography in New York. The exhibition a faraway shining star, twinkling in hand will be shown at Fotografiska Stockholm from January 19 to April 14, 2024.