KUNST HAUS WIEN opens its photography focus with the impressive work of the Japanese artist Rinko Kawauchi (b. 1972). The exhibition is the first comprehensive mid-career retrospective of the photographer in Europe. In large-scale cycles, she presents a universal memory and archetypical recollection, enabling reflection upon human existence.
Rinko Kawauchi has found acclaim worldwide for her nuanced use of colour and the unerring mastery of her compositions. Furthermore, her attention to small gestures and coincidental details enables her to cast a gaze of enchantment upon her daily surroundings that is always fresh and new. With her camera, she captures elementary and casual moments, all with the same passionate concentration. Kawauchi explores what is special in daily life, and ultimately this leads her to the fundamental cycles of life and the apparently unintentional order of nature within formal structures. The extraordinary sensibility of her gaze upon the world which surrounds us lends her photographs a unique attractiveness.
The artist launched her international career in 2001, when she published three amazing photo books simultaneously – Utatane, Hanabi and Hanako – thereby securing her position as one of the most innovative artists in contemporary photography. In these early work groups, Kawauchi finds her images in a highly personal manner, encountering the world and its objects.
She created a new body of work for this exhibition, for which the artist undertook a voyage to Austria in December 2014. Her search for the special – for the essence of the world – led her to a gold smelting plant and to the glaciers of the Dachstein Mountain, among others.