Deutsche BÖrse Photography Prize 2012: Rinko Kawauchi

The Photographers Gallery Played host this summer to the ‘DEUTSCHE BÖRSE PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 2012‘, which exhibited works from four different photographers, one of them being Rinko Kawauchi. I was more intrigued to view Kawauchi’s work as having already experienced this body of work ‘Illuminance’ in its book format I wanted to see how the narrative of the work would translate to being displayed in a gallery setting.

What I found when viewing the exhibition was that the photographs were just as emotionally charged as they are in the book. What I mean by emotionally charged is that when you view the images in sequence you’re taken on a roller-coaster of moods, one second you will be looking at an abstract photograph with a soft colour pallet and you slowly transcend into a dreamlike quality, then you’ll be rudely awakened by a sudden shock of phobia from the sight of an insect or a grotesque group of eyeballs.

Something I discovered through the writings in the book is that the series creates a childlike curiosity in the viewer, a curiosity that looks at the fragile insignificant objects and living things that surround us. I thought that this theme (whether intentional or not) was emphasised within the way this exhibition was displayed. The varying sizes of the prints meant that some subjects were almost thrust upon you and forcing you to look at them, as they were quite large prints in comparison to the smaller prints which required you to step in closer to them, almost teasing that curiosity out of the viewer.

Through this exhibition I have deepened my appreciation for Kawauchi’s photographs. She is a photographer that has informed my work previously and by viewing this series in a new light I am happy to be able to look at my surroundings in a similar fashion.


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