/ Arnis Balčus / Interview

10 minutes with Sandijs Ruļuks

Sandijs Ruļuks (1980) is a graphic designer who is known as the creator of the webpage design applications berta.me and Froont. He has graduated from the Department of Visual Communication at the Art Academy of Latvia and has also studied at Saint Martins College in London. For several years Sandijs has expressed himself in photography, too, taking images that balance somewhere in-between an intimate diary, travel and fashion photography. Riga Photomonth 2018 will host his first exhibition Air.

How did you start working with photography?

A few years ago I was in Utah (USA) to ride a bike in cliffs. I was really fascinated by the idea that each mistake means that I will either break my bones or fall down the cliffs. Each action of mine had an immediate result. It made me realize how comfortable my life is and how I have alienated from the corporeal world where there is no undo function. Photography helps me to find a balance between the digitally-virtual and the physical world. I still see it as design, only in this case I use people to create situations where I want to find myself.

Can you reveal how your images are taken?

Usually these are trips with my friends. Sometimes with a goal to photograph, sometimes with no goal, but usually they end in the same way – I start photographing and I don’t know whether the events happen because of photography or photography because of the events.

Foto – Sandijs Ruļuks

What role does nudity play in your images?

Nudity interests me mostly due to intimacy. It allows getting closer to a person – both me as a photographer and the audiences. Besides, it fascinates me how people deal with relationships with their bodies. We all were born naked, and it seems self-explanatory. However, over the course of time nudity is treated with assumptions and stereotypes, shame, complexes, sexuality, desire, doubts. Photography allows finding out more about it.

What are the biggest challenges when working on the exhibition?

Most likely, to take it easy and not be overly obsessed with it. Because the works did not start as a series, only some stories can be told with certain selected images. It is quite complicated to understand what story I want to tell and how to keep it simple for audiences, too.