Ronin De Goede

The Hague, Netherlands

The works of Ronin (1978) vary from overexposed scenes in nightly landscapes to intimate encounters in bare enclosures. We come across the inhabitants of ‘floating worlds’ exposed against the background of an abstract metropolis.

With a restless soul and an untameable longing for experience he submerges into darkness, embracing the necessary downward of alienation and solitude. Not sparing anything in the process, including himself. Found in the borderline territory between nowhere and elsewhere, these are the captions of a ‘passenger’, collecting ‘evidence’ to objectify a memory, thus defying a deeply rooted fear of Amnesia.

Altogether this personal odyssey leaves us with a more universally considered question: ‘What is my meaning and what am I doing here?’ or ‘Outside of myself-does anyone else exist in this world’?

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. … When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” [Haruki Murakami]

Where are you from, where are you based now and can you tell us a little about both? 

I was born and raised in The Netherlands, currently I am based in the city of The Hague, close to the sea and dunes. I like the city for its laid back atmosphere, good artistic climate and just within a hour reach of bigger cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

What draws you to the style of photography you shoot?

I prefer to shoot film, usually KODAK TRI-X 400, a fast and grainy film with high contrast. Besides shooting film, I also do my own printing. I like the (slow) process from taking the picture, developing the film and finally making the print.

Unfortunately it is an expensive way to work but I am very committed to craftsmanship, and cannot imagine myself working in a different way.

How did idea for the “Asakusa”  diary come about?

Quite organically. I made a selection out of an extensive archive I built up over the years. I was lucky to find a good gallery and publisher who embraced the project. They were very dedicated to make a beautiful book in the tradition of Japanese photobook publishing.

Was there any experience that stuck out while shooting it?

During my travels I became not only friends with traditional Japanese master Horikazu, and his family and friends, I also became a client. So this project left a permanent mark on me, as in, carved into my skin. An ongoing process and a prelude for future adventures.

Your main attraction to black and white photography?

A combination of things. I like the simplicity of black and white. Reducing once view into basic tones without distraction. Also there’s an association with memory and alienation, for me it’s my native language, although I speak a little color too.

Do you feel there is a different feeling and emotion being invoked when shooting analogue?

Yes, most definitely. It is a challenging and slow way of working that sometimes dictates its own rules. It can limit me at times but overall it is more rewarding for me in all regards.

Do you have a story in mind currently you can share with us or plans to do another book?

My next project will most likely be of a more abstract and poetic nature and will definitely contain a lot of nudity.

Is there any publications by other photographers you have been inspired from?

Too many, some of my favourites: ‘Flash Up’, Seiji Kurata, ‘The called me Yukari’ Hideka Tonomura, ‘Labyrinth’ Daido Moriyama, ‘Fragments of Calm’, Issei Suda.

When I am able, I love to purchase photobooks.

Producing such a chronicle is a very particular accomplishment for any artist, how was the process for you and can you give any advice for others thinking to do the same?

We worked hard on the project, mainly to make something really nice that would still be affordable.

It is important to take the advice of people around you, whether it is about the edit, design or something else. Always be open to different ideas and approaches towards your own work and be ready to have some of your darling killed.

Whats next on the agenda?

At the moment I am working on a project called ‘Stalker’, where I follow hunters in Ireland and Scotland. Next month I will be travelling to The Isle of Rum.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me on:

IG: Ronin_de_Goede