Excerpt from The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles:
Hiromichi (Daidō) Moriyama
Over the course of a long career, Hiromichi (Daidō) Moriyama has become one of the most known and prolific Japanese photographers working today. His projects are diverse, yet he often focuses on images of cities and explorations of light and shadow, form and abstraction.
Self-taught, Moriyama began his career in the early 1960s as an apprentice to Eikoh Hosoe, assisting on the production of the experimental, erotic photo book Ordeal by Roses. Influenced by avant-garde publications of the period, his first photo book, Japan: A Photo Theatre (1968), emphasized dramatic, surreal imagery and an idiosyncratic approach to presentation. He juxtaposed images of actors and performances with landscapes and unusual still lifes. That same year, he became a member of the influential collective Provoke, which consisted of socially concerned photographers who advocated for a new visual language through their short-run magazine of the same name. A subsequent project, Farewell Photography (1972) aimed to push the limits of the medium by combining found imagery and re-photography of Moriyama’s own pictures, which challenged any notions of beauty and clarity associated with photography.
Moriyama has produced a number of other influential publications over the years, including Hunter (1972), a poetic exploration (inspired by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road) of the world as seen from a car window Tales of Tono (1976), which takes its title from Japanese folklore and Lettre á St. Lou (1990) and Light and Shadow (1990), two contemplative studies inspired by the work of photography pioneer Nicéphore Niépce. Moriyama has photographed in Buenos Aires, Cologne, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and many other places worldwide, but remains best known for his work in Japan. Since moving to Tokyo in 1961, he has documented the city extensively from its chaotic streets to its clandestine underbelly with a handheld camera and high-contrast black-and-white film. His photographic style, characterized in Japanese as are, bure, boke (grainy, blurry, out of focus), heightens the darkness and strangeness that he finds lurking below the surface of the urban landscape.
Excerpt from Union List of Artist Names [ULAN - Getty], The J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles:
Moriyama, Daido (Japanese photographer and writer, born 1938)
Prolific Japanese photographer worked in the studio of Takeji Iwamiya in Osaka, then as an assistant to Eiko Hosoe in Tokyo. He was a member of the group Provoke, and appeared in the publications published under that name. Multiple collections of his work have been published. His images are most often printed with very high contrast and with a pronounced graininess. His subjects are overlooked or ordinary urban spaces, people, and things.
Daido Moriyama, Japanese, (1938- )
b. October 10, 1938, Ikeda, Osaka
Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: October 10