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
4%, Rinko Kawauchi's portfolio of 15 prints, 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 Kawauchi 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. She then contemplated the images to compose a collection of photographs that resonated and ultimately reflected the provocative concept embodied in 4%. Rinko's collaboration with The Lapis Press continued as she refined, tested, and arranged the final selection for the portfolio edition, culminating in the design of a custom box that exquisitely complements the edition.
4% by Rinko Kawauchi
Rinko KawauchiJapan, B. 1972
Rinko Kawauchi is a celebrated Contemporary photographer, known for her poetic depictions of everyday life, soft palette, and carefully edited photobooks. Born in Shinga, Japan, she went on to study photography and graphic design at the Seian University of Art and Design, graduating in 1993. After a period of working as a freelance photographer in advertising, Kawauchi released three photobooks of her personal work in 2001: UTATANE, HANABI, AND HANOKO. She became a famed photographer almost overnight, and has gone on to release several more photobooks. Her work has been exhibited all over the world, including at the Foundation Cartier in Paris, The Photographer's Gallery in London, the Museo de Arte Moderna in Sao Paulo, and White Cube in Kyoto, among many others. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 27th Ihei Kimura Photography Award, the International Center of Photography Infinity Award, and an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society. She was recently the Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipient of the Sony World Photography Awards 2023. She currently lives and works in Tokyo.