Daido Moriyama (b.1938) is widely recognized as one of Japan's most important and influential photographers. Emerging from the Provoke movement of the 60s, which challenged, primarily through its publications, the rigid artistic formalities of the Japanese photographic scence at that time, he created highly innovative and intensely personal work, often depicting what he saw as the breakdown of traditional values in post-war Japan.
Born in 1938 in Osaka, Moriyama moved to Tokyo in 1961, becoming a fully-fledged freelance photographer in 1964, heavily influenced by his contemporary Shomei Tomatsu, as well as the work of William Klein in New York, Andy Warhol’s silkscreened newspaper images, and the writings of Jack Kerouac. His pictures are characterised by a gritty, high contrast black-and-white aesthetic, or ‘are, bure, boke’ (grainy, blurry, out-of-focus), concentrating on the little-seen parts of the city and the fragmentary nature of modern realities.
This timely book, which will be the only survey of Moriyama’s work currently available in English, will include an introduction by Simon Baker, Curator of Photography at Tate, and two newly translated texts on the artist: ‘The Myth of the City’ by Koji Taki; and ‘Reconsidering “Grainy, Blurry, Out-of-focus”‘ by Minoru Shimizu which was first published in Moriyama’s seminal photobook Farewell Photography, and translated into English here for the first time.
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