Koichiro Kurita (Japanese, b. 1943)
Koichiro Kurita was born in Japan and studied perceptual psychology at Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe. After reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau Kurita was inspired to photograph the natural landscape. Kurita traveled to the United States on a grant from the Asian Cultural Council Foundation. He began visiting the sites mentioned in Thoreau's book, exploring secluded areas only accessible by canoe. Kurita utilizes the early photographic process of calotype; using paper negatives and developing his images on location. The paper negatives are transferred to albumen and salted print paper using ultra violet light.
"For my photographs, I chose traditional platinum/palladium printing process with archival hand made gampi paper for a harmony of idea and form. There are three reasons to use gampi paper. First, I have seen Steiglitz's photogravure using Japanese paper in the past and was amazed by his approach. Secondly, the paper has been used for historical documents since the 10th century in Japan for its natural archival properties. Lastly, as a nature photographer, I am concerned about the environment. The gampi paper uses only the bark without making it necessary to cut down the tree. I collaborated with a paper maker to achieve a gampi paper that was suitable for photography. I took on the challenge to use gampi paper for hand coating photographs."