Ryuijie was born in Otaru, Japan in 1950. As a young child he moved with his family to the US and subsequently lived in many places. from Hawaii to New Hampshire, and again in Japan, until his father retired from the military. Throughout his childhood, Ryuijie showed a serious inclination to the arts. This interest began to materialize during his own military service. While stationed in Guam, Ryuijie learned underwater photography while pursuing his long time interest in scuba diving. After his tour, he came back to the Monterey Peninsula where he attended college and began a successful career in lithography. It was in Monterey that an exhibit of Jerry Uelsmann’s photographs inspired him and propelled him into the practice of fine art black and white photography.
Camille Lenore Derendinger was born in Oakland, California. Camille was drawn to the Monterey Peninsula for its diversity of marine life and its community of divers. In 1999, she moved to Monterey to attend college and become a certified diver. At the California State University of Monterey Bay, she studied alternative processing and film production with an emphasis in replicative media. To further her education in the arts, she continued her studies in language, art, and cultural studies at the University Paris IV Sorbonne, in Paris, France. Following her return to the Monterey peninsula in 2004, she began work with two commercial photographers. In 2005, she also began printing with Ryuijie and assisted in printing platinum portfolios. The collaboration with Ryuijie on the Kanchi images would come later. In late 2005, a body of work titled “On One Breath”, by photographer Scott Campbell, inspired Camille to photograph beneath the sea. Through the help of Campbell and others Camille quickly learned freediving. In 2007, she studied free-diving physiology with the guidance of Performance Freediving. Several freedives and images later, the world is introduced to “Kanchi”. Camille’s personal work has been featured at the San Francisco Academy of Arts “Avant Grande 2007” show, in the CPA and Spectrum Photo Auctions, and is represented by the Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto and the Levin Gallery in Monterey, California.