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JEAN RUITER PROJECT / Archive and Stock Sales photoworks Jean Ruiter
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46 / Japan I / 1987
01 / Illusion of a Landscape / 1987
02 / Nightfight I and II / 1987
03 / Torii / 1987
04 / Moving Horizon II/ 1987 / pictures of I and III are not available
05 / Bamboo Sculpture / 1987
06 / Mount Wake / 1987
07 / Hiroshima Monument / 1987 / available is The Priest (third part) / 77 x 102 cm / mounted on board / 1800
08 / Ancient Sign I / 1987
09 / Ancient Sign II / 1987
10 / Sunrise - Sunset / 1987

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Related Text:
Jean Ruiter PhotoWorks Japan by Herman Hoeneveld


Jean Ruiter PhotoWorks Japan
Essay by Herman Hoeneveld

To love life is to let you drift along on dreams. Far away from here, to countries where there are colors you never knew existed, where people speak in tongues you will nevergrasp, but who understand you as astrangerand friend. What a wonderful thought, how exciting, how delightful to think that such experiences are possible. The dreams we dream we owe to writers, painters, poets and photographers. One of them is Jean Ruiter. Solitary, traveler, narratorinimages. If you think travelling is comfortable or 'interesting', you are mistaken. People of his sort have no choice. Travelling is away of life to someone fed by memories from the past, hankering after the nknown, possessed by a restlessness seen as discontent by those left behind. What is wrong with searching for happiness, seeking perfection? Ambitions like these bring confusing confrontations now and then.
Some people identify these a bitterns with the love-hate relationship which people like Jean Ruiter are said to have with their native country. 'As if their hopes and desires swell and recede like ebris with the tide, battered toy of the to and from of their existence. The drive towards the unknown is much stronger than drifting aimlessly between tranquillity and turbulence. The will to create, to make things hit her to unknown, is the artist's life force.

Do you know what my ideal would be? Slauerhoff once told me as the two of us sauntered down Utrecht's deserted streets... "I can think of'nothing I'd like more than a pair of slippers and a warm fire in a home of my own." I knew it was a lie. But the lie was not meant for me. lt was meant for J.Slauerhoff'. If he was trying to convince himself he could be happy sitting in his own lounge, reading his own weekly to the light of his own lamp and the glow of' his own fire, quietly avouring the evening's domestic bliss. No more a bohemian! No more a vagabond, no more a restless wanderer roving the seven seas. To know peace at last like others, not forever hounded by the clemon of insatiability. He tried to persuade himself that a lot such as this would bring him the satisfaction he longed for but which this life was apparently reluctant to grant him. But his restlessness soon rebelled against the very idea of domestic bliss."

Jean Ruiter is often away, on his way, in search of experience that will provide him with fresh ideas. He combs the whole world for the immediacy he no longer finds in his contact with people in the Netherlands. In other countries human relationships are clearer and people are pleasanter and ore considerate to each other. Such immediacy disappeared in the Netherlands as people gradually lost sight of the reasons behind the Organization and regulation of society. In an interview with G.H. 's Gravensande about 'Holland' Slauerhoff once said: 'It is a very good country, for international relations too, but it would be a sad state of affairs if you were dependent on it for your inspiration.'*) .
Jean Ruiter has worked in a lot of different countries. Concepts for his (constructed) photography are influenced by elements that strike him during his travels. The works that he makes on the spot actually contain elements and fragments from the country and it is from these encounters with history, culture and people that he draws his inspiration. The result of this process, a photographic work of art, shows us what he has experienced, what he has felt and thought.
His product is rooted in purely personal experience. In developing photography in this unique form of the visual arts as he does, he is hereto a solitary. Jeans Ruiter's work cannot be aligned with any other schools of art. It belongs to him and the changes one can detect in his images in the course of his long career, spring from the progression of his ideas and his new experience. Journeys to Cambodia and Vietnam (accompanied several times by Jan Montijn), taught him much about the Buddhist way of life. Pain is inextricably bound up with life. Pain which proceeds from transitory desires and which we can free ourselves from by renouncing everything. Thus life and pain end with nirvana, the state of perfect peace.

Jean Ruiter did not become a Buddhist. In Japan he was again confronted with the significance of the Buddhist philosophy and found confirmation for his own view that the individual is responsible for himself. Art does not aim to please, art is a way- possibly no more than a - partial means to the continual development of the personality. . The evolution in Jean Ruiter's images shows a growing openness. His painted interpretation of Laos and Cambodia a few years ago makes way for the sobriety of Japan. His choice of location reflects his pursuit of temperance. The eternal sea shores, the mountains, the sea all remain virtually untainted, unadorned. Jean Ruiter has made himself a part of the whole, the primordial landscape that once admitted the first influences from the sea: the shore, landing place for new cultures and later, the place where increasing undesirable imports and oppression had to be arrested. His reference to the Samurai, who defended Japan against the ravaging hordes of Mongols, has a surprising twist. It is not the steeled yet brittle strength of the trained fighters which brought spiritual and physical liberation, but the pliable, vital virtuosity of nature, of woman and bamboo. As his Japanese series demonstrates, he has used this to full advantage.

(Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, 1898-1956; poet, writer and ships doctor). From 'lk had het leven me anders voorgesteld, J. Slauerhoff in vraaggesprekken en (I was expected life to be different: J. Slauerhoff in interviews and reminiscences); BZZTOH, 's Gravenhage 1981.