Color Ice Forms
Kanchi ~ Underwater Series
RYUIJIE (JAPANESE AMERICAN, b. 1950)
Ryuijie was born in Otaru, Japan. As a young child he moved with his family to the US and subsequently lived in many places from Hawaii to New Hampshire, and again in Japan, until his father retired from the military. Throughout his childhood, Ryuijie showed a serious inclination to the arts. This interest began to materialize during his own military service. While stationed in Guam, Ryuijie learned underwater photography while pursuing his long time interest in scuba diving. After his tour, he came back to the Monterey Peninsula where he attended college and began a successful career in lithography. It was in Monterey that an exhibit of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs inspired him and propelled him into the practice of fine art black and white photography. Ryuijie has steadfastly pursued his own photographic vision for over thirty years, and has acquired a reputation for his exquisite platinum/palladium prints, in addition to his traditional black and white work. An exceptionally prolific artist, Ryuijie’s career has been highlighted by a multitude of exhibitions. His work has appeared in View Camera, Photovision, Camera and Darkroom, Black & White, Lenswork, and Focus magazines. He has published three books Ryuijie: Photographs, Time and Place, and Fragments of Time, along with smaller catalogs. His first portfolio Ryuijie: Ten Photographs was published in 1990 and his second portfolio Ryuijie: Portfolio Two Platinum/Palladium was published in 2002. Ryuijie’s currently work involves large split toned black and white prints of frozen botanicals, and his third portfolio, P-Square a selection of square photographs taken with a 2 1/4 Rollei camera. In October 2005 Ryuijie returned to his first love the landscape, and the abstraction, creating panoramic visions of the natural world. Works by Ryuijie can be found in private and public collections word wide including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
Camille Lenore and Ryuijie collaborated on the underwater series. Lenore was born in Oakland, California. Camille was drawn to the Monterey Peninsula for its diversity of marine life and its community of divers. In 1999, she moved to Monterey to attend college and become a certified diver. At the California State University of Monterey Bay, she studied alternative processing and film production with an emphasis in replicative media. To further her education in the arts, she continued her studies in language, art, and cultural studies at the University Paris IV Sorbonne, in Paris, France. Following her return to the Monterey peninsula in 2004, she began work with two commercial photographers. In 2005, she also began printing with Ryuijie and assisted in printing platinum portfolios. The collaboration with Ryuijie on the Kanchi images would come later. In late 2005, a body of work titled “On One Breath”, by photographer Scott Campbell, inspired Camille to photograph beneath the sea. Through the help of Campbell and others Camille quickly learned freediving. In 2007, she studied free-diving physiology with the guidance of Performance Freediving. Several freedives and images later, the world is introduced to “Kanchi”. Camille’s personal work has been featured at the San Francisco Academy of Arts “Avant Grande 2007” show, in the CPA and Spectrum Photo Auctions.