First of all, congratulations for Illuminance, a beautiful and powerful book. Mysterious, joyful, hopeful and sometimes painful. I spent 6 days with you in Rome at a wonderful workshop about editing and photo books and I'm curious about some aspects of your new work.
How, when and why you decide to do Illuminance?
Lesley Martin -who is editor at Aperture- and I had talked about hoping to publish a book together in the near future long time ago. So we met again around 3 years ago. Then we decided to publish the book.
I'm a fan of your work and almost every book you're famous for has been published by Foil. What are the reasons to work with a different editor? What are your thoughts about photo books in the future? Do you consider doing digital editions for IPads or any other tablets?
I've published many books with Foil, but I wanted to publish with others editors as well. It was great experience to work together with Lesley Martin at Aperture. This is the first time I have published with a US publisher. This way the book will be easy to get in US and Europe.
I'm thinking of making digital editions if someone give me the opportunity.
What are the main ideas behind the edited pictures in Illuminance? How do you manage a flow? Where does the meaning of you discourse come from?
I wanted to see what is our world through my works. This is my motivation. I think our world is made of lots of fragments. That's why I made sequences of equal images (same size, same way).
How and why you decided to print Illuminance's photos in double sheets joined with space in between. It has a special physicality when I flip the pages. My interpretation is that you can see the prints through direct light. You can "illuminate" the photos.
I like your interpretation! But my intention would be to connect every image. It suits my concept. Also, I like the idea that some air got caught between an image and the next.
We can see some biographical aspects of your intimate life in Illuminace, as is the case in the X-ray picture. How do you see your own life when you transform it in a piece of work? Is it therapeutical in some way?
I could say that Illuminance itself is my life. The process of making my work is therapeutic for my mind.
What kind of things did you discover assembling your photos for Illuminance? Did you realize something you did not notice when you started to work on the book?
In Illuminance I found what beauty and richness is. Usually, I shoot without thinking (I mean not too much thinking), and after shooting I find something.
What is your next project? Illuminate us ;)
I'm using a 4×5 large format camera for my next project. And a digital camera as well. I'm enjoying the new format and texture.
Antonio Muñoz de Mesa is a Spanish director, actor, writer, photographer, TV host and lecturer. He is always building bridges between arts, education and companies.
Illuminance by Rinko Kawauchi
First edition, Kehrer Verlag 2011
Hardcover, Japanese binding
176 pages, 130 color illustrations
21,6 x 27,9 cm