File 2: Kotori Kawashima (Yokohama, 1980)
Kawashima is probably one of the most important and active young photographers in Japan in both fine art and commercial photography. Kawashima obtained his bachelor’s degree in French literature from the First Department of Literature at Waseda University. After his graduation, Kawashima studied under Genqui Numata. Kawashima has published many self-publications as well as “BABY BABY” (Shinpusha, 2007), “Mirai chan” (Nanarokusha, 2011), “Myojo” (Nanarokusha, 2014), “Oyasumi kami tachi” (2014) and many others. Kawashima received “The 40th Kimura Ihei Award” (2015), The photography award at “The 42th KODANSHA SHUPPAN Culture prize” (2011) and The Grand Prize at “The 10th Itaru Hirama by Shinpusha” (2006). Kawashima showed his work at Gallery Momo (Tokyo, 2018), CMP Block Museum of Arts, Taizhong (Taiwan, 2016), Shibuya PARCO MUSEUM, (Tokyo, 2015), IMA CONCEPT STORE (Tokyo 2015) and many other galleries and museums.
The portfolio he shares with us includes ‘Nijiro Murakami,’ portrait of a Japanese actor and “Mirai chan,” daily life of a young girl, probably his most popular series to the western audiences. Beauty of his photography resides in his intense dedication to his subject. Even though he invests his powerful perception to his sitter, there is no judgement in his photos and he remains calm and neutral toward whatever subject he is taking care of. Kawashima lends the impression of being fair to anybody he encounters, and I respect this non-judgemental approach as a professional photographer and as a person. It is not always an easy thing to do! He is not afraid to take in everything in front of his eyes, including things that might be unfavorable to his personal beliefs.
Kawashima definitely founds his own utopia where people comfortably reveal who they are; there’s no forced power found there. His love and devotion to photography make me reaffirm my direction as a photobook specialist and that’s the reason why I admire his work.
Favorite Photographers: Larry Clark, Yurie Nagashima and Kazutomo Tashiro