Rinko Kawauchi is a contemporary Japanese photographer known for her lyrical images of elemental subjects. Based in the Shinto religion as well as the works of Irving Penn, Kawauchi’s photographs capture ordinary moments with a profound almost hallucinatory perspective. “From the black ocean comes the appearance of light and waves. It helps you imagine birth,” she has mused. “I want imagination in the photographs I take. It’s like a prologue. You wonder, ‘What’s going on?’ You feel something is going to happen.” Born on April 6, 1972 in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, she began pursuing photography while attending the Seian College of Art and Design in Osaka during the early 1990s. Working mainly in advertising for a number of years after graduating, Kawauchi published her first photo book in 2001 and went on to release several others, including Illuminance (2011), Ametsuchi (2013), and Halo (2017). She currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. Today, Kawauchi’s works are held in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, among others.