Rinko Kawauchi

I recently bought this book of photographs by Rinko Kawauchi.

I first saw her work at a show at the photographers gallery in London where this became one of my favourite photographs.

So much so that it inspired me to take this.

Anyway, I have a real respect for her work. I feel like she seems to be always there, moving around and in the action, both an participating insider and an invisible observer. While many of photographs often seem very banal and simple - the watermelon on the cover for example - in the company of other photographs in the book they become important parts of a intimate whole. I find so many of them to be very delicate, respectful and beautiful images.

I mentioned her to Shiori, who pointed out to me that her editing is really amazing. This is true; going through the book there emerges a real story and images that at first seem random and out of place slowly fall into sync. This is something that only really works when they are viewed in a sequence and is somewhat lost when the photographs are exhibited. She currently has work on show at the Cohan & Leslie Gallery on 10th Ave in Manhattan (until mid November I think, I haven't been down there yet myself).

Which brings me to my next thought; she is considered a fine art photographer. Yet this book (Cui Cui) in particular is in my opinion a documentary work. There is a definite set of themes, a story and a message.

A good artist, a good photograph, a good piece of journalism; all these should make you see differently, think differently and feel differently. Certainly her work does this for me.

Artist or documentarian?

Why not both eh?