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Ryuta Nakajima was born in Tokyo, Japan. He grew up in many places around the world, including Lebanon, Kuwait, Switzerland, Egypt, and Japan. He is currently working as an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Art and Design. Nakajima received his Ph.D. from Kyushu University in Design in 2019, MFA from the University of California San Diego in 1997, and is an ordained Esoteric Buddhist priest. Nakajima merges biology and art, publishing scientific papers on cephalopods behavior while highlighting art and design represented in this class of animals. Nakajima explores a variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, and installation. Nakajima has also been active in the realm of nature conservation and social reform through a variety of activities. In 2004, he joined the Bicycle film Festival as a curator promoting the joy of cycling to reduce carbon emission and better overall health in urban areas. In 2015, Nakajima launched Okinawa Seaside Laboratory, focusing on coral reef conservation working closely with local scientists and educators conducting lectures and workshops, especially for children from underprivileged families. Locally, he has been collaborating  with Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grant to produce a traveling exhibition and zine “Black Gold” promoting conservation freshwater ecosystem around the great lakes region.


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