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Born on October 10, 1938, Daido Moriyama is a Japanese photographer who created a radical change on the photographic arena both in Japan and the West. His works mirror the breakdown of Japan’s conservative tradition, especially during the post-war. Moriyama is a member of PROVOKE magazine, a theorist and a lecturer.
The Life of Moriyama
Daido Moriyama grew up in Ikeda, Osaka where he got his first training for graphic design before he decided to take photography lessons with Takeji Iwaniya, a legendary photographer of crafts and architecture. In the year 1961, he moved to Tokyo where he became the assistant of another photographer named Eikoh Hosoe. He worked for the man for 3 years until when he got the interest on the trenchant social critiques created by Shomei Tomatsu. Daido Moriyama further obtained his inspiration from the confrontation photographs of William Klein. Andy Warhol is also among his inspirations, particularly when the former silkscreened several newspaper images. The writings of Jack Kerouac and Yukio Mishima were also among his motivations.
From Moriyama's Memories of a Dog
Work and Career
On most instances, Moriyama takes his photographs in the Shinjuku regions of Tokyo. His works are often seen in grainy, high contrast, black and white images. He is well-known for taking shots in odd angles. His works were largely influenced by Seiryu Inoue, William Klein, Shomei Tomatsu, Andy Warhol, Eikoh Hosoe, the dramatist Shūji Terayama, the writer Yukio Mishima, as well as Jack Kerouac's On the Road.
Moriyama became prominent during the mid-1960s with his grainy representation of the Japanese life. His personal approach to photography yields results with graininess, high contrast, and tilted vantages. These images depict the fragmentary nature of life.
All throughout his career, he won several recognitions. The year 1967 brought him his New Artist Award from the Japan Photo-Critics Association. He obtained the coveted Annual Award from the Photographic Society of Japan in 1983. The year 2003 gave him his The 44th Mainichi Art Award and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) in 2004.
His use of small automatic camera provides his photos with causal artistry. Moriyama’s works were featured in several collections, both private and public. Some of these are in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has his share of solo shows too at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland, The Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, and The Folkwang, Essen, Germany.