BAGUIO THROUGH THE EYES OF A FILIPINO-JAPANESE
MANILA, February 15, 2005 (STAR) By Joy Angelica T. Subido - "Home is where you are happy… Yet home, like parentage, must be legitimized through love; otherwise, it is only a fact of geography or biology."–Henry Anatole Grunwald, former Time magazine editor-in-chief
For photographer Rudy Furuya, Baguio City was home. After decades of living elsewhere, he has never forgotten it. His love for the city has endured throughout all these years. For how else can one explain his return visits since 1989?
His father, Shonosuke Furuya migrated to Manila from Yamanashi, Japan at around 1915. He became an apprentice photographer in the city’s well-known Sun Studio, attended the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts, and arrived in Baguio in the mid-1920’s to manage the Japanese Bazaar’s Pine Studio on Session Road. It was in Baguio’s Notre Dame Hospital on Nov. 7, 1933 where Einosuke "Rudy" Furuya was born.
Rudy entered the Baguio Japanese School in 1940. However, the end of his family’s Baguio sojourn came at the end of World War II in 1945. Victorious American military forces repatriated the Furuya family to Japan, and after 12 years of knowing no other home than Baguio City, Rudy Furuya was torn from the city of his birth.
They settled in Yokohama, where he graduated from high school and started a career in photography with his father as his first teacher. In 1950, as a 17-year old, he attended his first meeting in Japan of the Baguio Kai, an association of former Baguio residents who lived in Japan.
As a teenager, Furuya started out with the Yokohama Camera Supply, then worked for nine years with the Tokyo Maruzen Bookstore’s photographic section, before moving in 1961 into advertising photography. With Nippon Keizai Advertising Company, he became a member of the Advertising Photographers Association. Between, 1963 and 1978, as chief photographer of the prestigious and innovative Yangi Industrial Design Research Center in Tokyo, his work appeared in many publications.
In the next two decades, Furuya specialized in formal portrait and wedding photography. He was with Ekubo, a Yokohama portrait studio, for three years before beginning a 16-year long association with the wedding photography department of Tachikawa Heiankaku in Tokyo.
Retired since 1999 from a diverse and fulfilling half-century in commercial photography, Furuya has visited Baguio regularly. He is a volunteer of the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon (Baguio) and the Philippine Nikkeji Mutual Foundation (Manila).
In the photographic exhibition, A Sense of Baguio through Einosuke "Rudy" Furuya’s Eyes, he offers a traveler’s collage of a childhood home he has returned to explore further.
The core of the collection, about 60 images, are of Baguio landscapes. Furuya documents his travel on roadways, creek beds and garden embankments, past portals, gateways and boundaries, to record landmarks from a new perspective.
Expect very much more than the usual postcard-pretty images. Through a remarkable combination of light, shadow and composition, Furuya, artist and returning son of Baguio "draws us into a lively quest in this mountain city for spaces among familiar places."
A Sense of Baguio through Einosuke "Rudy" Furuya’s Eyes is on view until March 12, at Galerya Kordilyera in University of the Philippines in Baguio City.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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