Rinko Kawauchi Japan, b. 1972

It's not enough that [the photograph] is beautiful. If it doesn't move my heart, it won't move anyone else's heart.

- Rinko Kawauchi


Rinko Kawauchi's portfolio of 15 prints, entitled 4%, was inspired by the theory that merely 4% of the mass of the universe can be perceived and what remains is unknown. These images depict various microcosms from that known fraction of our universe. Each photograph embodies the poetic subtlety that is vividly represented throughout her work. The visual whispers Rinko creates draw us into the particular minutiae of each image and are hypnotically comforting, beautiful abstractions of the ordinary world. Every one of the 15 images evoke an other-worldliness that alternately captures the essence of the tangible 4% while hinting at the mystery of the undiscovered realm of 96%.

Rinko spent several weeks as an artist in residence with The Lapis Press in 2011-2012. She explored and photographed various sites throughout California, predominantly places where the natural world is either artificially represented or contained. Over the course of several months she then contemplated the images to compose a collection of photographs that resonated with her and ultimately reflected the provocative concept embodied in 4%. Rinko's collaboration with The Lapis Press continued as she contemplated, refined, tested, and arranged the final selection for the portfolio edition. Lapis worked closely with Rinko throughout the process of proofing, printing, and material selection, culminating in the design of a custom portfolio box that exquisitely complements the edition.