"zk" is a coded symbol for a spectacular view (zekkei in Japanese), and for the surge of emotion that floods the entire body, via the sense of sight, when we encounter certain amorphous views. It signifies the relationship between landscape and emotion, between outside and inside. The feelings that emerge the moment the view is seen, the body's reaction to the camera's shutter release, the thought process of interpreting them, the self which encompasses all that has occurred up to the present moment. Symbols are culture. Culture is the collective. The collective is movement. Movement is existence. Existence is will. Will is the exterior of everything. All things exist, not for the purpose of someone or something in particular. The world is both outside and inside. It is only being that connects everything, and being overlaps with nothingness. Overlapping, fluctuation, entanglement. Go beyond "meaning." Simply exist as part of the world that is.

People cannot help being born and cannot help dying. To live means to accept that helplessness. All unnameable things cast their shadows under the light of the world. No one can see the world as it is, we can only ceaselessly trace its shadows. We are simply driven by emotions, and while we may be able to think about things, we can never truly know anything about them. There is certainly no way to know where we ourselves are headed.

Where is the boundary between outer surface and interior? Where do the concrete and the abstract connect? Objects, as we see them, are not absolute. To see objects is to see the relationship between them, it is simply a state of flowing energy. The world appears to be saturated with objects and information, but even blank spaces only exist in relation to objects, and all the while, the world is filled with energy and bound by relationships.

There are things that photographs cannot capture, too. Still, they enable us to engage with and interpret things to which it is difficult to give form. A photograph is nothing but a photograph, and for us similarly to be nothing other than what we are, the best we can hope for is to face what is occurring in front of us and around us, to stop adopting an aloof or defiant attitude, to abandon the idea that we are unconcerned and uninvolved. So many things are sad, so many things are painful, that's why I hate a world like this. That's why even if I have to grapple with these things, struggle, feel like I'm about to be crushed, I like and admire people who can simply be happy to be alive, even if there is no meaning to it. And as time goes by, as it always does, I long for the past that must have been, look ahead to the future that is still unknown, and simply look at what is in front of me. At the people who are always with me, the people who have left my life, the people I only encountered briefly. At the misery, the emptiness, the isolation of wandering lost in a concrete jungle. Because otherwise, all connections would be broken.

A spectacular view is an idea. To me, a spectacular view is whatever one sees when living life with eyes wide open, looking straight ahead.

In editing this photo book, I was thoroughly confronted with and inevitably reminded of where I am at the moment. Ah, this is how I see the world. This is how I live my life. Did I will myself to be this way, and if so, how did I become the way I am? Did I just click-click the camera shutter as if nodding my head for a brief instant? Am I that empty and hollow? If so, how do I really want things to be?

Just before I had finalized the layout of the book, I awoke from a dream in which my father had killed me, and was surprised to find tears streaming down my cheeks. The emotion that lingered was not fear, but a kind of loneliness bordering on insanity, or the nostalgic sense of being left behind in a void.

Suddenly, the Miyaji family cat appears from under the table and curls up on the keyboard on which I am writing this. "654eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"...

How can I see you from here?

(from the text "zk" by Ryuichi Ishikawa)


Born in Okinawa in 1984. In 2010 he studied under photographer Testushi Yuzaki. In 2011 he participated in the Shomei Tomatsu Digital Photography Workshop. He received the 35th New Cosmos of Photography Honorable Mention for "okinawan portraits" in 2012. In 2015, he received the 40th Kimura Ihei Photography Award and the Photographic Society of Japan Newcomer's Award.

Major solo exhibitions include, 2014 "RYUICHI ISHIKAWA" gallery Lafayette (Okinawa), "zkop" Atsukobarouh (Tokyo), "okinawan portraits" Place M (Tokyo), "A Grand Polyphony" Ginza Nikon Salon (2015 Osaka Nikon Salon); 2015 "okinawan portraits" The Third Gallery Aya (Osaka), "A Grand Polyphony" Galerie Nord (Paris); 2016, "okinawan portraits 2012-2016" Art Gallery Artium (Fukuoka), "Once thinking, nothing before eyes" Yokohama Civic Gallery Azamino(Yokohama); 2017 "OUTREMER / Ultramarine" Atsukobarouh (Tokyo); 2018 "zkop: a blessing in disguise" Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix(London); 2019 "home work"The Third Gallery Aya(Osaka); 2021 "The Inside of Life" SAI(Tokyo); 2022 "RECORDry"(Nagoya) etc.

Major group exhibitions include 2016 "Roppongi Crossing :My Body, Your Voice" Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), "Body / Play / Politics" Yokohama Museum of Art (Kanagawa); 2017 "Nissan Art Award 2017" BankART Studio NYK (Kanagawa); 2019 "Oh! Matsuri ★ Goto Showa / Heisei Heroes and People in the Japanese Contemporary Art" Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (Hyogo) ; 2019 "ARTISTS TODAY" Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum(okinawa) "Reborn-Art Festival" Ishinomaki (Miyagi); 2022 "Aichi Triennale" Tokoname(Aichi) etc.

Photo books include, "Okinawan portraits 2010-2012", "A Grand Polyphony", "adrenamix", "okinawan portraits 2012-2016","The Inside of Life" (all published by AKAAKA Art Publishing, Inc.), and "CAMP" (published by SLANT).

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