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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.

Rose, 1984 
By Daidō Moriyama(森山大道)
Signed on verso
Gelatin Silver Print
Aluminium Black Frame
40.6cm x 26.7cm (16” x 10.5”)


From “Letter to St.Loup (1990)”

The exaggerated close-up of this rose does not appear intended to emphasise its beauty, but instead to showcase its imperfections. Daidō Moriyama’s photograph is heavily grainy in texture, with blurring towards the edges of the rose, as well as a strong dark to light contrast that appears almost abrasive rather than conventionally beautiful.

This epitomises Moriyama’s interest in wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic world-view which revolves around the appreciation of imperfection. It is the ability to find beauty in the flawed and the transient, acknowledging that nothing will last and nothing is perfect. This is suggestive that everything must come to an end; featured here is not a rose in its prime, instead there are the already fraying edges around a flower that is beginning to wilt.


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