“A picture is worth a thousand words”. I couldn’t agree more when I see Shinichi Maruyama‘s breathtaking photos. This Japanese artist uses various techniques in order to create astonishing photos. A combination of Japanese archaic calligraphy and digital photography where water, ink and paint strike together creating eatherial, refined almost poetical images. Using advanced technology called strobe light the artist manages to capture the moment of the collision with a device called strobe light used to produce regular flashes. The stroboscopic effect gives the illusion of slow motion like the one many people experience when they are in a club.
“Once your brush touches paper, you must finish the character, you have one chance. It can never be repeated or duplicated. You must commit your full attention and being to each stroke. Liquids, like ink, are elusive by nature. As sumi ink finds its own path through the paper grain, liquid finds its unique path as it moves through air.”
SHINICHI MARUYAMA / GARDENS
It is said that a Zen garden represents in a three dimensional space the spirits of high priests who have achieved enlightenment. The Zen garden is the expression of boundless cosmic beauty in a physical environment, created through intense human concentration, labor and repeated action.
One can attain a feeling of serenity by simply being in the space of a Zen garden. It is its own universe, empowering the visitor to resist temptation, eliminate negative thought, and sever the continuous stream of inessential information emanating from the outside world.
I have tried to represent this feeling I get from Zen gardens in my artwork. Although I am still far from those enlightened monks who labor in nature, my actions of repeatedly throwing liquid into the air and photographing the resulting shapes and sculptural formations over and over-endlessly-could be considered a form of spiritual practice to find personal enlightenment.
Shinichi Maruyama was born in 1968 in Nagano, Japan. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, in High School he became immersed in mountain climbing, and wanting to preserve the stunning landscapes began taking photographs. Upon graduating college he joined Ima Co. assisting their 15 still life photographers where he discovered the many different professional facets of creating an image.
Shinichi Maruyama started his professional career in Tokyo in 1993, 10 years later relocating his studio to New York City in search of more global opportunities. Specializing in splashing and energetic movements within shots Maruyama has become highly sought after for his expertise in this field expanding his career into Europe in 2005. In 1993, working with an 8×10 camera Maruyama became independent winning the ’99 Japan Magazine Advertisement Prize planning-advertisement section award. He began taking photos for his personal project “Into the Spiti Valley”, a documentary work about Tibetan culture in India, the exhibition later opened in 2001 along with the publication of two books “Into The Spiti Valley” and “Spiti”.
In 1998, he joined Hakuhodo Photo Creative and became involved in advertising campaigns for Japanese companies winning the New York ADC Gold Award for an advertising campaign for a satellite broadcasting company. In 1999 realizing the possibilities of digital photography and Photoshop Maruyama began creating his work using digital cameras. Maruyama has been involved in many worldwide advertising campaigns utilizing his expertise in ice, liquid/splash, and specializing in movement in his works. Years of lighting research and the advances in retouching have made it easy to have a strong idea of exactly how a photo will look even before the shoot begins, but in photographing liquid and subjects in movement, it is impossible to foresee what the end result will be, and it is this spontaneity that enables Maruyama to have more fun creating his work. While Maruyama enjoys the excitement of collaborating with creators from around the world, one thing is always on his mind, that feeling he had back in high school, when he was photographing what ever he wanted to…he is now working on his personal projects and aims to have an exhibition of this work.
“GARDENS”, exhibition of Shinichi Maruyama is now showing at Bruce Silverstein Gallery (www.brucesilverstein.com) located at 535 West 24th Street, New York from February 17th through April 2nd