Ryu was born in Hahoe Folk Village(a UNESCO World Heritage site), Republic of Korea in 1943. He graduated from Seoul National University in 1966 and contributed to constructing the multipurpose dams as a design and construction supervisor. Ryu is a Professional Engineer Civil Engineering Execution and was a former Adjunct Professor of Kyungpook National University. He is a self-taught artist focusing on landscapes, and started photographing in 1978 with his first camera, the Canon AE-1. Ryu earned his EFIAP/p (Excellence FIAP Platinum) distinction from the International Federation of Photographic Art(FIAP) and his GPU VIP 3 from the Global Photographic Union. He received the Best Author at "4th International Exhibition of Photography PHOTO PERSPECTIVE 2020" in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Best Author at "52nd Howrah Colour Salon 2020" in India, and the Best Author in color free theme at "16e Salon International d'Art Photographique de Pessac 2018" in France.
Ryu earned his PPSA and EPSA in 2020.