came to South Africa in 1971 and got a job in a stockbroking company.
In 1973 he took up photography and got the job of darkroom operator with
the Argus Africa News Service.
During this time he compiled a documentary on Kliptown, a coloured
township next to Soweto, an exhibition of which was held at The
Photographers Gallery in London in 1977.
He also started an ongoing series ''Focus on People'', a candid
reportage on people in their everyday doings, exhibiting some of this
work at the Market Theatre and the Carlton Centre.
In 1977 he joined The Star Newspaper's news photographers team for two
years, both years winning The Star-Picture-of-the-Year award, as well as
being highly commended in the News Picture Category of the Shell Press
Pictures of the Year Awards of 1978 and '79.
During 1978 he was commissioned to provide the slides for the
Audio-Visual of The Star's ''Newspapers in Education'' project headed by
In 1979 he became The Star Tonight! magazine photographer.
In the same year he held an exhibition at the Market Theatre Photo
Gallery entitled ''Le Plat Pays'' of documentaries done during various
visits to his home country Belgium.
In 1982 he won a World Press Photo Contest Award in the art section (see
Photo Categories page: Dance).
In that same year he also got six entries in the book ''A Day in the
Life of South Africa''.
In 1984 he furnished the picture of Santarama Miniland for the front
cover of the Johannesburg Telephone Directory.
In the same year a documentary on him and his work was screened on SABC
TV as part of a series on top photographers in the country.
In 1986 forty-eight of his prints on people were selected to form part
of an exhibition entitled ''The Soul of Johannesburg'' and presented at
the Total Gallery by the South African Institute of Photographers.
In 1981 he became a Licentiate member of the SAIP (South African
Institute Of Photographers) - later to be renamed PPSA (Professional
Photographers Of Southern Africa) and was awarded the rank of Associate
in November 1986. He was to receive the rank of Fellow later in 1989
(see further on).
In November 1986 Ruphin Coudyzer held an exhibition of some of his
Theatre Production Photographs at the Market Theatre Art Gallery.
During most of 1987 he worked on the color photography for the Argus
Company's book ''Like it was - The Star 100 years in Johannesburg'', for
which he also provided the front cover photograph.
In November 1987 he took part in the highly acclaimed ''The Star
Photographers Off-Beat'' exhibition at the Shell Gallery.
In February 1988 he was appointed Pictures and Graphics Editor of The
Star newspaper. Under his editorship The Star produced, for the first
time in six years, the Press Photographer Of The Year in the Illford
Press Photo Awards (the late Ken Oosterbroek).
During 1988 The Market Theatre's book ''Best of Company'' appeared, for
which Ruphin did the front cover and most of the photography in it.
In February 1989 he resigned from the Argus Company in order to devote
himself on a self-empoyed basis to various photographic projects and
some eminent clients at the time, including The Market Theatre, Sun
International, Pieter Toerien Productions, The Civic Theatre, The
Sibikwa Players, The People's Theatre, Pieter-Dirk Uys, The Adele Blank
Dance Company Freeflight, The Johannesburg Dance Foundation, The Moving
into Dance Company, The Johannesburg Youth Theatre, Radio 702, Hello
Johannesburg Magazine, The Goodman Gallery, Adele Lucas Promotions...
In the 1989 Profoto Awards Ruphin Coudyzer won the category Portraiture
with a Silver Award and the category Editorial People also with a Silver
Award. In the latter category he was also runner up with a Highly
In July of the same year he was invited by the 1820 Settlers Foundation
to cover the Grahamstown Arts Festival with the aim of producing an
In December of 1989 he received the Fellowship Award from the SA
Institute of Photographers, based on a presentation of 20 works from his
Grahamstown Festival coverage.
In July 1990 the 20 works were subsequently exhibited during the
Grahamstown Arts Festival and during the ''Hot from the Fringe'' run at
The Market Theatre Gallery.
In August 1990 he took part in the ''Excellence in Photography'' show, a
highly prestigious exhibition of selected works by members of the SAIP,
and was singled out as one of the three most noteworthy photographers by
the SABC magazine program ''Antenna''.
In the 1990 Profoto Awards Ruphin Coudyzer received eight awards in the
categories Commissioned People and Commissioned Portraiture.
For the 1991 Grahamstown Arts Festival he was again asked to be the
official 1820 Foundation Photographer.
In November 1991 a permanent exhibition of pictures depicting local
actors and musicians was launched at ''The Coffee Society'' in Rockey
Street, Yeoville, a bohemian type coffee bar under ''The Black Sun''
In August 1992 a small exhibition of twenty works of the last three
years in theatre photography was presented during the ''Open Week
Festival'' at the new Johannesburg Youth Theatre complex.
In the same month the SAIP selected 7 of his works to form part of the
25 images for the ''Man of our Times'' exhibition, a project by world
acclaimed British photographer Lord Patrick Litchfield.
During the 1993 Pot-Pourri season of PACT at The Windybrow Theatre
Complex, Ruphin held an exhibition entitled ''Highlights'' with works
from the last 14 years of his photography in the theatre and
In July of 1993 he was again the official 1820 Foundation photographer
for The Grahamstown Festival.
In May 1994 he was sponsored by Benetton to hold an exhibition at The
Market Theatre of works chosen from the most momentous Market Theatre
productions over the last 15 years, representing one of the most
important one-man exhibitions Coudyzer has held.
These works are now permanently displayed in the foyer of The Market
In February 1996 the newly formed arts magazine ''Vuka SA'' (Vol I, No
3) devoted it's front page and a six-page article on Coudyzer's work.
In 1997 he contributed 33 photographs as well as the front cover picture
to the autobiography ''Just theTicket'' by Computicket magnet Percy
His photographs also appear in many local and overseas books and
publications on South African theatre.
In recent years Ruphin Coudyzer has expanded his activities by covering
functions such as product launches, award ceremonies, Christmas parties
and the staff portraiture for such corporations as 3M South Africa,
Coca-Cola, The Standard Bank, Total SA, MTN, Gensec, The Wanderers Club,
Microsoft SA, The FranchiseAssociation of SA, Bayer and Agfa SA.
He has done the photography for brochures for companies such as Price
Waterhouse Coopers, SA Breweries and Amalgamated Beverages Industries.
His photography has also included work for industrial theatre and event
companies like The Blue Moon Company, Industrial Theatre Company,
Jumping Dust, The Event Company, Howling Wolf and Shoestring
With the acquisition of AVMIN (Anglovaal Mining) as a client at the
beginning of 2001, he ventured into the realm of Industrial Theatre.
In the newly reinstated 2004 ProFoto Awards - Industrial Category - he
entered nine images from his industrial portfolio and scooped one Gold,
one Silver, two Bronze and one Highly Commended Award. He also won the
portfolio in this section with a Silver Award.
In 2004 he acquired the clientele of the Nelson Mandela Foundation for
which he worked for a number of years.
On the 30th March 2006 (his birthday) The Market Theatre launched their
30th anniversary celebrations by opening Ruphin Coudyzer's exhibition
"Stages Calling" of 40 works illustrating some of the most prominent
plays since 1979.
This is his second permanent exhibition at The Market Theatre (see May