Rinko Kawauchi Influence

In an earlier post I was talking about the photogram’s I have created in relation to photographs, such as the one below. I was wanting to include some photographs because I think they add something different to the body of work that photogram’s don’t, which is more of an emotional response. The photogram’s are clinical in their appearance whereas the photograph here creates more of a reaction.

Lee Hassall Image 1This idea of using a series of photographs to stimulate emotion as a way of telling a narrative, is something I experienced at an exhibition of Rinko Kawauchi’s work a few years ago. It was at the photographers gallery, when Kawauchi was nominated for the Deutsche Börse photography prize 2012. The body of work featuring in this exhibition was ‘Illuminance’, which has also been published within a book format. I thought the experience of viewing the book was translated successfully into an exhibition display, as in the book there are pairings of striking photographs, a mixture of abstract and figurative subjects that take the viewer on a rollercoaster of emotions, which was apparent in the exhibition as well. One moment you may be looking at an abstract image that has a soft colour palette, causing you to transcend into a dreamlike state and in contrast to this you are met with a grotesque picture of bloody eye balls pulling you out of this peaceful state.

The writing accompanying the photographs in the book talks about how Kawauchi’s photographs are reminiscent of a child’s curious perception of the world. Focusing on small, easily overlooked details within life and bringing them into question, presenting the viewer with a dilemma as to how something as repulsive as a dead bird could look beautiful at the same time.

Kawauchi 3

So I am going to try and replicate this method Kawauchi has used as a way of stimulating emotions out of the viewer. For example I have taken another photograph (below), which I would like to include in the series as I think it says something different to everything else I have at the moment. The bird appears quite majestic and hopeful, something I think will be read similarly by others as it’s quite a universal sign. It’ll be an interesting contrast within the body of work that is all about the discrimination of a demographic.

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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.