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Art / photography

Azamino Photo Annual "When you think about it, it's not in front of you anymore" | Interview with Ryuichi Ishikawa

あざみ野フォト・アニュアル『考えたときには、もう目の前にはない』| 石川竜一インタビュー

2016.2.14 Published Interview & Text: Hiroyuki Watanabe Photo (Portrait): Masamasa Nishino

It was November 2014 that I got to know a photographer named Ryuichi Ishikawa. A girl friend I met in Okinawa told me, "My friend's funny photographer is exhibiting in Shibuya, so go see it." Mr. Ishikawa, who I met at the venue just before the print of "okinawan portraits 2010-2012", which later won the Kimura Ihei Award for Photography, was drunk, so I visited the solo exhibition at the Nikon Salon in Ginza at a later date. , I heard the story again. Mr. Ishikawa, who carried a large rucksack on his back and hung two Hasselblads with digital backs from his neck and appeared from the alley in Ginza, answered questions slowly and carefully, choosing words one by one, like an Okinawan native. Ginza. I thought he was a sincere person. 1 year after that. While busy preparing for the solo exhibition "When I think about it, it's not in front of me anymore", Mr. Ishikawa, who I met for the first time in a long time, was still modest, sincere, gentle and wet-eyed, squid (squid?) Okinawa It's "Nini".

Since the photo exhibition only strikes the "dots" of the time, I will put out what I have taken so far.

In "When I think about it, it's not in front of me anymore", the early works before Mr. Ishikawa was recognized as a photographer include "Polyphony of superb views" and "okinawan portraits 2010-", which were awarded the Kimura Ihei Award for Photography. 2012 ”. In addition, the latest work "CAMP" will be released for the first time. I think it's a good composition to get to know the world of the work with a photographer named Ryuichi Ishikawa, and when I told him that, Mr. Ishikawa smiled with a bitter smile, "I'm not dead, but it looks like a retrospective exhibition," but the intention of the exhibition is simple.


"I just put out everything I can do now. People are thinking about various things at the same time in their minds. The portraits, snapshots, and Polaroid photographs that were exhibited are taken in parallel, and the early works were It was a time when I was doing trial and error on photography, but it's still the same. I don't have an answer to photography, but I think I need to think about it. I don't think it's necessary to think about the meaning of the composition of If you dare to say it, it feels like you're hitting the point that "I'm thinking like this now, I'm thinking like this here." I hope I can leave something like that. "

ryuichi_ishikawa_photo

The imagination of oneself is too small to reach the polyphonic state of the world.

Among the exhibited works, "ryu-graph" is unique. This work, which was created by applying a solvent directly to photographic paper, directly expresses the image inside Mr. Ishikawa, which is different from so-called photographs. At the time of production, Mr. Ishikawa was almost unfit for people and was in a state of staying at home without taking pictures. The trigger was a surprising awareness of photography.


"When I first started photography, I snapped things that I was interested in, but when I printed it, it was completely different from what I had when I took it. When you think about it, when you see something, for example, what you ate in the morning, the weather of the day, the feeling of the air, the smell you smelled, etc. You feel something. Because your experience is different, you don't feel the same when you see the same thing. So, if you combine various images, you can convey what you think. I started compositing photography ("Brain Miso Portrait") because I thought I could do it. From there, I messed up what I was thinking and what would happen if I did whatever I wanted. I became curious and tried every possible method, from multiple exposures, collages, baking films, and changing the procedure for using developers and other chemicals. In the meantime, I didn't even take pictures. "

Image left: Ψυχή (anima Psyche) / 2007 / Gelatin silver print, Image right: ryu-graph # 0028/2009 / Gelatin silver print


Image left: Ψυχή (anima Psyche) / 2007 / Gelatin silver print
Image right: ryu-graph # 0028/2009 / Gelatin silver print

The uncontrollable communication gap between the viewer and the viewer, which occurs in the process from "taking" to "transmitting", makes it easy to express the image inside you, as well as "ryu-graph". I sent Mr. Ishikawa to. Did you discover anything while you were a photographer and continued to work without using a camera?


"It's just how small each person's imagination is." I'm like this. "I thought I could do something more interesting, but I knew it wasn't a big deal. To develop it further. I had an idea, a method, and a concrete image of, but I thought it was crap. I think it's over at the stage where I can imagine the future. "

After completing "ryu-graph", Mr. Ishikawa leaves the darkroom and begins to snap to people and places close to him and what happens there. That later resulted in "adrenamix". The "printing mirror" made at the same time clearly shows Mr. Ishikawa's shift in consciousness from his limited inner world to the unpredictable outer world.

Image left: Urasoe, 2009 (from adrenamix) / 2010 / PC, monitor, image right: Print mirror 02/2010 / Gelatin silver print


Image left: Urasoe, 2009 (from adrenamix) / 2010 / PC, monitor
Image right: Print mirror 02/2010 / Gelatin silver print

"I want to imprint something in the outside world on photographic paper again."

In silver halide photography, the image is developed and fixed by utilizing the chemical changes that occur when the silver applied to the photographic paper is exposed to light. The "printing mirror" is a mirror surface of black-and-white photographic paper that applies the chemical reaction of silver in the developing process. The mirror reflects everything on the outside. The image changes from moment to moment, and it is unpredictable what will appear in the next moment.

When I first heard about it in Ginza, I vividly remember feeling that this man might be trying to become a "giant image sensor" that captures everything in the world. Mr. Ishikawa's strong feelings, which he occasionally says, "I wish I could make a photo of anything," can be felt from the "print mirror."

Regardless of the time or place, the subject trembles with the force of "friction" and presses the shutter.

The characteristic of Mr. Ishikawa's photographs in "Polyphony of Superb Views" and "okinawan portraits 2010-2012" is, in a word, its "brilliant freshness".

Yaese, 2014 (from Polyphony with a superb view) / 2014 / Inkjet printing

Yaese, 2014 (from Polyphony with a superb view) / 2014 / Inkjet printing

A heavy image of fluttering bursts reminiscent of the rich odor drifting from rotting fruits in the hot, moist air of the tropical country. It's a bit of a truth that "only what's there in the picture" is true, but it definitely makes you feel that something is there. What does Mr. Ishikawa see and when do he press the shutter?


"I don't really think about what I'm looking at, but when I was asked about" when to take a picture "at a photo exhibition or event, I said," I'm alive. " I took pictures when I thought "!" Or when I felt "Dangerous!", Which led to the latest work "CAMP", but I wasn't interested in the forest in the first place. I tried to talk about it because it was beyond my imagination, but I didn't know what to shoot when I entered the forest, but I have to shoot something to start shooting. After repeating the process of developing, printing, and looking back, the final choice was, in the words of "Polyphony of Superb Views" and "okinawan portraits 2010-2012", "I'm alive! I had the image of something like ". If I dare to put it in words, it's the force of" friction "when something moves. The friction that occurs between animals and their presence, or the flow of water. Friction when shaving rocks. That's interesting. The greater the force of friction, the more trembling it feels. There is physical friction when people pass each other in the city, and emotional and emotional friction. There is also. Something like an event or experience that occurs in life may represent the friction that has occurred to the person as it is. That's what it means to be alive. Is it an accumulation of friction? I think. "

Some of Ishikawa's photographers look strange at first glance, while others are ordinary. However, what can be said in common is that every model stands out as a person's "individual".

OP.001143 Naha (from okinawa portraits 2010-2012) / 2013 / Inkjet printing

OP.001143 Naha (from okinawa portraits 2010-2012) / 2013 / Inkjet printing


"When it comes to portraiture, the bottom line is that you're looking at the individual, but maybe you're not looking at the individual either. Most of the things you don't know when shooting. But this is also a reflection. However, there is a bias toward seeing something peculiar. In fact, the more time I have, the more I appreciate it. I don't get confused by the appearance. I think it's dangerous. "

In an interview with a magazine, photographer Shinya Fujiwara said, "I think it's an era when groups are the faces, not individuals." After the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, and the nuclear accident that accompanied it, it is an era in which we do not know what will happen in five minutes. And. This is symbolized by the popularity of group idols represented by AKB48, and Fujiwara says that the phenomenon that they cause is functioning as a shelter for young people today who have uncertain anxieties. It's like Mr.

Indeed, AKB48 and EXILE dominate the top of the J-POP charts, and if you walk around the city, you will pass by many young people dressed like clones. It is difficult to find something like an "individual" in that figure.

However, there is neither AKB48 nor EXILE in the portrait of Mr. Ishikawa, who unexpectedly encountered the expression means of photography in the midst of Mr. Fujiwara's "era when the flock becomes a face" and continued to shoot. Each person's presence stands out, giving off something like a body odor that is unique to that person. If Mr. Ishikawa's accumulation of "friction" creates an "individual face," the selected models, whether or not they are aware of it, have lived their own lives, for better or for worse. Probably those who have gone. Mr. Ishikawa responds to the vibes generated by the friction they have accumulated and releases the shutter. The viewer is stabbed by the momentary reflexes of human beings, which are originally unique and should be diverse, which have become difficult to see due to the shadows of the times. What?

OP.002187 Naha (from okinawa portraits 2010-2012) / 2012 / Inkjet printing

OP.002187 Naha (from okinawa portraits 2010-2012) / 2012 / Inkjet printing

Photographs are a medium in which things such as timeliness and land are inevitably imprinted. How does Mr. Ishikawa perceive the relationship between his photographs and the times and places?


"It doesn't make sense for me to think about the situation of the times and places by looking at the photos I took. It may be out of the question to imagine such elements in advance. not"

Being aware of the times and places in advance when shooting is a noise that obscures the eyes that Mr. Ishikawa captures the world, similar to his well-known imagination that he encountered in "ryu-graph", and taking pictures. Maybe it's just a shackle.

Living is always on the edge, and stability is only a moment, as is the case with people in the city.

"CAMP" is a series of photographs taken with Bunsho Hattori, a survival climber, in an unpopular forest with only the minimum equipment to connect the shooting equipment and life. Photographs were taken in the headwaters of the Sai River, which flows through Ishikawa Prefecture, in June last year, and in the Waga Mountains in Akita Prefecture in September.

Image left: C.09 (from CAMP) / 2015 / inkjet print, image right: C.43 (from CAMP) / 2015 / inkjet print


Image left: C.09 (from CAMP) / 2015 / Inkjet printing
Image right: C.43 (from CAMP) / 2015 / Inkjet printing

For Mr. Ishikawa, who has been shooting mainly Okinawan people and the city, this is his first attempt to shoot in a place where even traces of people cannot be seen, such as a primeval forest. What kind of emotion did Mr. Ishikawa have when he was in the opposite shooting environment?

"I was confused when I was shown something completely different than usual. I don't know what to shoot. There is no road, no people, no hamburger shop. There is nothing I see every day, so I don't even know what to look for, so I had to press the shutter anyway. I didn't really feel like I was taking a picture, and I didn't even know why. "

During the shooting, the scene that was most strongly burned into my memory was when I was dying when I crossed the snowy valley of the Sai River and my feet collapsed.

"Because it's a small snowy valley, if you don't walk one by one, it will collapse and both of you will end up," said Mr. Hattori. It started to crumble. I would die if I fell, so I ran desperately over the snowy valley that crumbled like a manga. Anyway, I pressed the shutter. When I checked the image, it didn't look right due to a camera failure. It seemed that the image that caused the bug and my mental state at that time were in sync. "

ryuichi_ishikawa_photo

People's consciousness shows a deep change only when they meet and immerse themselves in different places, times, and people. Did the experience of putting your body in the nature exposed from the streets where people live had some influence on Mr. Ishikawa's eyes that capture the world?

"I found out that the city and the mountains are the same. The specifics and details are different, but everything is alive. That's amazing and scary."

I can understand the feeling that it is amazing. But what does it mean to be scared?

"There is no such thing as safety or stability. Living is always on the edge and it is natural. If you try to stabilize somewhere, there will be a gap. Stability is only for a moment. People I've created a comfortable environment to live in, but that's why something collapses. "It's natural to eat and eat together. Because I'm eating, I'll eat someday," says Hattori. As I wrote in the book, the mountains were really the same. I thought that it wouldn't change in the city. People should know that, but the stable daily life that is only ideal will continue. Ask and think about safety. What about that? "

I thought of 3.11. Humans have built a civilization for stability and security. However, ironically, if one minute point is out of balance, it will be killed by the civilization that he has created. There is no guarantee that you will be alive in 1 second, let alone 5 minutes. It's a cold reality. Nevertheless, we are spending our days immersed in the illusion that these calm days will continue for a long time in the future. Is it resentment about that?

"It's a shit that we are living unconsciously, but we can't help but want safety and stability, and it's also a shit that the ideal doesn't hold true. It's a contradiction. "

I think it's right to "accept" the world instead of accepting it

"Many photographers actively seek to capture the moment in search of a meaningful piece. Ryuichi Ishikawa, on the other hand, takes a picture of how to accept the situation in the photograph. Photographer at the core "

This is Mr. Nozomi Himeno, who is the representative of Akakasha, the publisher of "Polyphony of Superb Views", "okinawan portraits 2010-2012", and "adrenamix", and one of the people who knows the photographer Ryuichi Ishikawa best. Is a sentence that commented on Mr. Ishikawa. "Accept" is one of the keywords that represent Mr. Ishikawa.

However, Mr. Ishikawa himself always felt uncomfortable with the word "accept".

"Sure, I've said things like'there's a way to accept what's in front of you, a way to think about it, and a camera.' There was something that didn't fall into my mind. At that time, in Sartre's "vomiting" that I happened to read, the phrase "not accepting what happened to me, but accepting what happened to me" was written. I've been stuck since I found him. I think it's more correct to "accept" instead of accepting. Using the word "accept" feels like I'm pretending to have nothing to do with myself. The image is that I'm throwing it into a vessel casually. However, when I accept something, I have a lot of emotions, and even if I think I'm accepting it, I unconsciously choose it. , I started to think that the word "accept" was more correct in terms of meaning. I can't say any more because I haven't seen it clearly yet. It's intuitive, but for me from now on, this awareness I think it will be a big point. "

ryuichi_ishikawa_photo

The difference in meaning and nuance between "accept" and "accept" is probably the difference between the activeness of facing others and the load they receive. Acceptance can be done as long as there are others, but it is inevitable to be deeply involved in accepting it. There is a significant difference in the calories burned there.

If Mr. Ishikawa's history of his activities is to hit the wall of his own expression and restore his connection with the world through photography, then he should go further, that is, deepen his perspective from watchers to actors. It just overlaps with the process of human growth. May a baby who can express himself only by crying grow up into a boy and adolescent, and mature into an adult man in friction with a society that is not only beautiful.

At the end of the exhibition hall, works taken with a Polaroid camera are placed. The series with the same name as the photo exhibition "When I think about it, it's not in front of me anymore" is a work that has continued since the same period as "Polyphony of superb views" and "okinawan portraites 2010-2012", and is familiar to Mr. Ishikawa's daily life. The subject is people and things that are rooted in life, such as a friend or a meal.

When I think about it, it's not in front of me anymore / 2014-2015 / Peel apartment type film

When I think about it, it's not in front of me anymore / 2014-2015 / Peel apartment type film

"In Polaroid, I talk to the other person and shoot in the air where they can communicate with each other. It's like a very private and intimate relationship. I can't see or measure it like that, and it disappears quickly. Unlike prints, it can't be duplicated, so only one copy of the same thing remains. I thought Polaroid was suitable for shooting something that remained only for a moment. "

Certainly, it fits the characteristics of instant film, in which the image gradually deteriorates and disappears from the moment it is taken, without being completely fixed.

"I take two pictures of myself and the other person. I write words and give them. I wonder if it started around Robert Frank. I think that anything should be a picture. But I thought I hadn't photographed that feeling of intimacy yet. It's a so-called "friend photograph". It's the same as young children taking pictures of familiar things with "Cheki". "

Taking a picture is taking on the world outside of you. Mr. Ishikawa seems to say that the last work in the exhibition hall is a friend's photo taken with an instant camera. It's been a year since his spectacular debut, and Mr. Ishikawa is surely trying to set foot on the first step of the stairs leading up to the next stage. Mr. Ishikawa's rear view crosses his head, saying that he was releasing the shutter while saying "Ningen!".

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