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Ryotaro Horiuchi
Ryotaro Horiuchi
Ryotaro Horiuchi

Ryotaro Horiuchi

Country: Japan
Birth: 1969

Ryotaro Horiuchi was born in Tokyo in 1969.
When he was a teenager, he started to work at the furniture studio as an assistant. During his time at the studio, he was asked to take photographs of furniture as its records. And that was the first time he felt his intention to focus on a thing in front of his eyes ''Through The Lends''. And that ''intention'' turned him into ''photo-holic'' by realizing the potential of photographs. Since then, he has been working on his works from Osaka University of Arts and while he was in Germany and till now. Now he is working with ''Descendants of Samurai'' and ''Roma Gypsy'' by taking their portraits. To do so, he keeps focusing on ''the identity'' of them and himself.

Falling Waters
When I faced the waterfall, my eyes were riveted on the falling waters.
The waters kept changing and never became the same figure.
I saw the vitality in its overwhelming energy.
The waters looked so alive that I felt as if I were photo shooting creatures.
These are not scenic photos but portraits of waterfalls.
The waters kept moving vigorously with a roaring sound, however, I loved the silence behind it.

Quiet Existence
I have relatives who emigrated to a foreign country under a state-led migration policy during the pre-war period. They live as minorities in the country. Hearing stories about them as I grew up made me fascinated with people who are defined as minorities.

When I was staying in Germany, I later learned that the people who had been closed to me were Roma. I had absolutely no knowledge about Roma at that time and their lifestyle looked just so mysterious to me.

Since then, I had been drawn to their strong identity and I visited the area where many Romani people live. I met many other ethnic groups of people who live as minorities there.

When I faced their lifestyles, I could see their quiet yet strong identity behind them, which strongly resonated with me. It might be impossible for minorities to maintain their culture without keeping their strong identity.

What is identity? The question always makes me ask myself what kind of individuality I retain.

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Tina Modotti
Italy / United States
1896 | † 1942
With her camera, Tina Modotti presents a distinctive vision of 1920s Mexico. As a Hollywood actress turned Comintern agent, Modotti used photography as an artistic and political outlet. Born​ in Udine,Italy,​ ​Modotti emigrated to San Fransico at the age of sixteen. She quickly established herself as a successful actress and modeled for notable photographers including Jane Reece and Edward Weston. The latter became her lover and artistic mentor. In 1923, Weston and Modotti set up a successful portrait studio in Mexico City. While there, Modotti moved within avant-garde circles, befriending Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It was during this period in Mexico that she developed her passion for both photography and politics; this culminated in a solo exhibition at the National Library in 1929 which emphasized the revolutionary quality of her work. A year later Modotti was exiled from Mexico because of anti-communist sentiments and in 1931 she set aside a promising career in photography to devote herself entirely to political activism. She worked as a Comintern agent until her death in 1942. Although her life and photographic style are often linked with Edward Westo​n, her political engagement and the eye for composition she harnessed to express it are her own. Calla Lilies (1925) represents a cool appraisal of natural beauty and shows Modotti’s interest in formalism, something she shared with Weston, as she emphasizes the stark lighting, the near symmetry, and the tactile presence of the flowers. In Workers Parade (1926), however, while Modotti’s skill in formal composition is still evident, as the lighting and angle emphasize the repeated pattern of the hats, this dramatic view of a May Day parade in Mexico City reveals Modotti’s Communist sympathies and her ambition to use photography to promote political change.Source: Hundred Heroines Tina Modotti was an Italian American photographer, model, actor, and revolutionary political activist for the Comintern. She left Italy in 1913 and moved to the USA, where she worked as a model and subsequently as a photographer. In 1922 she moved to Mexico, where she became an active Communist. Modotti was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini in Udine, Friuli, Italy. Her mother, Assunta, was a seamstress; her father, Giuseppe, was a mason. In 1913, at the age of 16, she immigrated to the United States to join her father in San Francisco, California. Attracted to the performing arts supported by the Italian émigré community in the San Francisco Bay Area, Modotti experimented with acting. She appeared in several plays, operas, and silent movies in the late 1910s and early 1920s, and also worked as an artist's model. In 1917, she met Roubaix "Robo" de l'Abrie Richey. Originally a farm boy from Oregon named Ruby Ritchie, the artist and poet assumed the more bohemian name Roubaix. In 1918, Modotti began a romantic relationship with him and moved with him to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the motion picture industry. Although the couple cohabited and lived as a "married couple", they were not married. She was listed as a U.S. citizen in the 1920 Los Angeles township census. Often playing the femme fatale, Modotti's movie career culminated in the 1920 film The Tiger's Coat. She had minor parts in two other films. The couple entered into a bohemian circle of friends. One of these fellow bohemians was Ricardo Gómez Robelo. Another was the photographer, Edward Weston. As a young girl in Italy her uncle, Pietro Modotti, maintained a photography studio. Later in the U.S., her father briefly ran a similar studio in San Francisco. While in Los Angeles, she met the photographer Edward Weston and his creative partner Margrethe Mather. It was through her relationship with Weston that Modotti developed as an important fine art photographer and documentarian. By 1921, Modotti was Weston's lover. Ricardo Gómez Robelo became the head of Mexico's Ministry of Education's Fine Arts Department, and persuaded Robo to come to Mexico with a promise of a job and a studio. Robo left for Mexico in December 1921. Perhaps unaware of his affair with Modotti, Robo took with him prints of Weston's, hoping to mount an exhibition of his and Weston's work in Mexico. While she was on her way to be with Robo, Modotti received word of his death from smallpox on February 9, 1922. Devastated, she arrived two days after his death. In March 1922, determined to see Robo's vision realized, she mounted a two-week exhibition of Robo's and Weston's work at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City. She sustained a second loss with the death of her father, which forced her to return to San Francisco later in March 1922. In 1923, Modotti returned to Mexico City with Weston and his son Chandler, leaving behind Weston's wife Flora and their youngest three children. She agreed to run Weston's studio free of charge in return for his mentoring her in photography. Together they opened a portrait studio in Mexico City. Modotti and Weston quickly gravitated toward the capital's bohemian scene and used their connections to create an expanding portrait business. Together they found a community of cultural and political "avant-gardists", which included Frida Kahlo, Lupe Marín, Diego Rivera, and Jean Charlot. In general, Weston was moved by the landscape and folk art of Mexico to create abstract works, while Modotti was more captivated by the people of Mexico and blended this human interest with a modernist aesthetic. Modotti also became the photographer of choice for the blossoming Mexican mural movement, documenting the works of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Between 1924 and 1928, Modotti took hundreds of photographs of Rivera's murals at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City. Modotti's visual vocabulary matured during this period, such as her formal experiments with architectural interiors, blooming flowers, urban landscapes, and especially in her many beautiful images of peasants and workers during the depression. In 1926, Modotti and Weston were commissioned by Anita Brenner to travel around Mexico and take photographs for what would become her influential book Idols Behind Altars. The relative contributions of Modotti and Weston to the project has been debated. Weston's son Brett, who accompanied the two on the project, indicated that the photographs were taken by Edward Weston. In 1925, Modotti joined International Red Aid, a Communist organization. In November 1926, Weston left Mexico and returned to California. During this time Modotti met several political radicals and Communists, including three Mexican Communist Party leaders who would all eventually become romantically linked with her: Xavier Guerrero, Julio Antonio Mella, and Vittorio Vidali. Starting in 1927, a much more politically active Modotti (she joined the Mexican Communist Party that year) found her focus shifting and more of her work becoming politically motivated. Around that time her photographs began appearing in publications such as Mexican Folkways, Forma, and the more radically motivated El Machete, the German Communist Party's Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ), and New Masses. Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo divided Modotti's career as a photographer into two distinct categories: "Romantic" and "Revolutionary", with the former period including her time spent as Weston's darkroom assistant, office manager and, finally, creative partner. Her later works were the focus of her one-woman retrospective exhibition at the National Library in December 1929, which was advertised as "The First Revolutionary Photographic Exhibition In Mexico". As a result of the anti-communist campaign by the Mexican government, Modotti was exiled from Mexico in 1930. She first spent several months in Berlin, followed by several years in Moscow. Traveling on a restricted visa that mandated her final destination as Italy, Modotti initially stopped in Berlin and from there visited Switzerland. The Italian government made concerted efforts to extradite her as a subversive national, but with the assistance of International Red Aid activists, she evaded detention by the fascist police. She apparently intended to make her way into Italy to join the anti-fascist resistance there. In response to the deteriorating political situation in Germany and her own exhausted resources, however, she followed the advice of Vittorio Vidali and moved to Moscow in 1931. After 1931, Modotti no longer photographed. Reports of later photographs are unsubstantiated. During the next few years she engaged in various missions on behalf of the Workers International Relief organizations as a Comintern agent in Europe. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, Vidali (then known as "Comandante Carlos") and Modotti (using the pseudonym "Maria") left Moscow for Spain, where they stayed and worked until 1939. She worked with Canadian Dr. Norman Bethune during the disastrous retreat from Málaga in 1937. In 1939, following the collapse of the Republican movement in Spain, Modotti left Spain with Vidali and returned to Mexico under a pseudonym. In 1942, at the age of 45, Modotti died from heart failure while on her way home in a taxi from a dinner at Hannes Meyer's home in Mexico City, under what are viewed by some as suspicious circumstances. After hearing about her death, Diego Rivera suggested that Vidali had orchestrated it. Modotti may have "known too much" about Vidali's activities in Spain, which included a rumoured 400 executions. An autopsy showed that she died of natural causes, namely congestive heart failure. Her grave is located within the vast Panteón de Dolores in Mexico City. Source: Wikipedia
Jesse Alexander
United States
1929 | † 2021
Jesse Alexander is an American photographer that covers motorsports, portraits, birds and travel. He also published several books. One of his first photo expeditions was in 1953 to the Carrera Panamericana race in Mexico. Since 1954, he covered large European races such as 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, and the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio of Italy. While in Europe he also photographed culture celebrities for New York Times, and was the European editor for Car and Driver magazine. He has exhibited at the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Akron Art Museum, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.Source: Wikipedia Jesse Alexander has been involved in photography and especially motorsports photography since the early 1950s when he covered the original Mexican Road Race. He then spent many years in Europe covering Formula One and the famous long distance sports car races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio. In that period of time he also photographed theater and music personalities for the New York Times. “As a young boy growing up during World War II, I was captivated by the imagery that came out of the war through the eyes of legendary photographers like Edward Steichen and W. Eugene Smith. My other heroes include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Davidson and Robert Capa”, he said. Jesse’s current body of work includes travel photographs of Iceland, the Galapagos Islands, and birds.Source: Fahey/Klein Gallery In the wake of World War II, a golden age of motor sports emerged in Europe, pitting competing countries against each other on the racetrack instead of the battlefield. A young photographer at the time, Jesse Alexander followed "the circus" and captured on film the adventure, glamour and innocence of this influential period in racing. In one image, Phil Hill waves after winning the 1960 Italian Grand Prix in his Ferrari; in another, Piero Taruffi celebrates his 1957 victory at the Mille Miglia in Brescia, Italy. Since then, Jesse Alexander has remained one of the most acclaimed and commercially successful racecar photographers in the history of the sport. Jesse Alexander's photographs have been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries in the United States, including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Akron Art Museum, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Source: Robert Klein Gallery
Liu Zheng
China
1969
Liu Zheng was born in 1969 in the Hebei Province, China. His signature graytone photographs have for years starkly framed, in political and provocative situations, his human subjects. When he works in colour, the tones are awash in sepia or a doctored saturation that comments on the nostalgic nature of his topics – his Peking Opera series in particular reflects this. Liu's background is not rooted in arts . After majoring in optical engineering at the Beijing Institute of Technology, he joined a local paper as a photojournalist, where he covered the coal mining industry. This laid the foundation for his interest in the lives of the countrymen that toil endlessly; one of his first series as an artistic practitioner explored the lives of ethnic minorities and our perception of them. He continues to eke out of the histories and stories of his subjects and topics in photography, and has published several volumes of his series. Liu Zheng's work has been exhibited in solo shows including Dream Shock, Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, China (2013); Dream Shock, Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2009); Liu Zheng: The Chinese, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (2008); Liu Zheng: Survians, SOHO New Town, Beijing, China (2005); Liu Zheng: The Chinese, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (2005); Liu Zheng, Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France (2003); The Chinese, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China (2001); and Three Realms and The Chinese, Taipei Photo Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (1998). His works have also featured in group shows including the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai, China; Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, IL; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, LA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Asia Society and Museum, New York, NY; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; and Chambers Fine Art, Beijing, China. He has also participated in the 50th Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy and the International Center of Photography Triennale, New York. His work is in the collections of the Guy and Miriam Ullens Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Uli Sigg Collection, Mauensee, Switzerland; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. He currently lives and works in Beijing, China.
Josephine Cardin
Dominican Republic
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Josephine Cardin is a fine arts photographer who grew up in South Florida, until moving to Boston, MA in 2006.Presently, Cardin has been developing her figurative work, inspired by music, dance, and the human themes of loneliness, isolation, melancholy, love and loss. Cardin uses both dancers, and self-portraiture to illustrate scenes that bewitch, seduce, and explore our human sensibilities; through abstract stories with a visual dialogue between the subject and the artist created through a symbiosis of harmonic gestures and magnetic artistry.Cardin's work has been published in The Spoiler�s Hand, Lucy�s, Canto, beau BU, Scope, F-Stop, and Dance Magazines; Playbill, and the book Meet The Dancers. She has exhibited with The Professional Woman Photographers, The Boca Raton Museum of Art Juried Exhibition, and with The Woman in The Visual Arts. Most recently Cardin received and honorable mention for the 2014 Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, and was selected as a finalist for the PhotoNola/International House Mary Magdalene Exhibit in New Orleans. She has done work for the Boston Ballet, Rochester City Ballet, Arts Ballet Theater, and The Broward Center for the Performing Arts; as well as work for corporate clients. Additionally she earned an artistic grant from the state of Florida, prior to her move to Boston.Always an artist in some capacity, Cardin started out as a ballet dancer, then earning her B.A. in Art History from Florida Atlantic University, followed by an M.A. in Communications from Lynn University. She went on to hold several professional jobs in the arts, while continuing to produce personal and professional photography projects as a freelancer. In 2010 Cardin focused on pursuing her fine arts career full-time. She lives and works in Rochester, NY, with her husband and two young children.
Maroesjka Lavigne
Maroesjka Lavigne (b.1989, Belgium) gained her Masters in Photography at Ghent University in the summer of 2012. Her work has been shown internationally at the Foam Talent exhibition in Amsterdam, The Robert Mann Gallery in New York, Galerie Hug in Paris and Museum Saint Guislain in Gent, Belgium, among others. She self-published a book called ‘ísland’ in 2012 that sold out. In 2014 she published a postcard version of this book. In 2015 she made a commissioned work ‘Not seeing is a Flower’ in collaboration with the Flanders centre in Osaka. This was published in the catalog called Facing Japan. Her latest project 'Land of Nothingness' is made in Namibia and exhibited in the Robert Mann Gallery in New York. She was selected for the Talent Call at Fotomuseum Amsterdam (FOAM) Netherlands 2012 and was the winner of the Emerging Talent competition of Lensculture in 2014 with the series ‘You are More than beautiful‘. In 2015 she won the Harry Penningsprijs in Eindhoven,Netherlands and in 2016 she won 1st place in the Landscape Category at the Sony World Photography Awards. She is currently living and working in Ghent, Belgium.Source: www.maroesjkalavigne.be Island: "Travelling through Iceland for four months, a country I was unfamiliar with: The light was bright, colours were vivid, and by the end of my trip the sun kept on shining all night long. Snow still held the country in its veil, creating a big white void. This has a way of cleaning up the landscape, the scenery gets more graphic. Wondering how this scene would look like in wintertime, I decided to go back for another month in January. The country turns blue at dusk in wintertime. All colours fade. Cities look like scale models seeking shelter from the weather in the shadow of the mountains.It was my intention to express the dazzling moment, that sometimes, time seems to stop."
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