Published on occasion of her solo exhibition at the Tokyo Photographic Museum (October 2022 – January 2023), “Small Miracles” introduces the reader to Rika Noguchi’s past and recent series, documents the exhibition, and – through essays and biographical information – contextualizes her work.
Since the mid-1990s, when she won (among others) the New Cosmos of Photography competition and launched her professional career, Noguchi has been one of Japan’s leading photographers. Her diverse work, created using various techniques and approaches, explores our relationship with the natural world and unknown phenomena. “Small Miracles” opens with a selection of photographs from series such as “To Dive”, “I Dreamt of Flying” and “A Prime” as well as more recent works such as “To The Night Planet”, “At The Bottom of the Sea”, “A Palm Tree” and “My Father’s Album.” The title of the book – taken from another recent series – is a reference to Noguchi’s realization that her work has been driven by the miraculous power of photography to inspire and guide her curiosity.
“Those eyes that are neither male nor female, that simply stare. That particular way of looking at the world, exceptional in its fixity. Maybe what it most resembles is how the eyes of a boy in primary school look when he's in the process of building a perfect plastic model from a kit. Fitting the pieces in place without hurrying, not touching it when it's not yet dry, slowly and steadily, neither happily nor unhappily, with extraordinary concentration.
In that way, the beautiful things dotted throughout the world are simply reflected through those eyes in her photographs, and the laws of the cosmos and divine perspective are made to unfurl of their own accord.”
― from Banana Yoshimoto’s text “The Mystery of Rika-chan”
All texts included in Japanese and in English translation.