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About The Artist

Born in Osaka Prefecture in 1938, Daidō Moriyama is one of the most important Japanese photographers of the postwar-era. He embarked on his photography career in 1959 as a student of Takeji Iwamiya. However, his study under Iwamiya was brief and in 1961 he became the apprentice of one of the masters of Japanese photography, Eikoh Hosoe. Moriyama soon struck out on his own, creating a photographic style that disregarded the technical conventions of the day in favour of grainy, out-of-focus images taken with a small, hand-held camera.

Described by Moriyama as "fossils of light and memory," his photographs avoided making the political statements that were so characteristic of the period, instead seeking to preserve instants of time in memory. In 1968, Moriyama worked for Provoke magazine and published his first book, Nippon Gekijo Shashin-cho (Japan: A Photo Theatre). He ran a photographic school throughout the 1970s and established the Workshop Photography School in conjunction with other photographers. Moriyama has won many awards and has had his work exhibited worldwide.

Bandaged Finger, 1987
By Daidō Moriyama(森山大道)
Signed on verso
Gelatin Silver Print
50.8cm x 61cm (20” x 24”)


From “Letter to St.Loup (1990)”

Inspired by the likes of Eikoh Hosoe, Eugène Atget, Weegee, and William Klein, photographer Daido Moriyama has made the city his muse. In Tokyo and other cosmopolitan locales, he documents cultural change and urban chaos in an expressive style all his own. Moriyama was a founder of Japan’s Provoke movement; from 1969 to 1970, the group published an avant-garde magazine that artfully documented the dramatic transformation of 1960s post-war Japan. Moriyama, for his part, focused on elements of modernization, the dissolution of traditional Japanese values, and the American military occupation of the country. Typically, the photographer makes grainy, black-and-white, high-contrast images, which he prints himself. He has largely shot with a small handheld automatic camera, rarely with attention to the viewfinder.


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