Daido Moriyama

Daido Moriyama was born in Ikeda, Osaka in 1938, and is considered to be one of Japan’s leading figures in photography.

He first trained in graphic design before taking up photography under Takeji Iwamiya and Eikoh Hosoe as their assistant. In 1964, he became an independent photographer, publishing Nippon Gekijo (Japan Theater Photo Album) in 1968 and Shashin yo Sayounara (Farewell Photography). In 1972, his works showed the darker sides of urban life and the city. Moriyama uses a small hand-held automatic camera, giving his images a loose casual aesthetics but yet still undermined by a forceful decisive point of view. This style came to be known as “are, bure, boke” (rough, blurred and out-of-focus) quick snapshots without even looking into the viewfinder.

As a witness to the spectacular changes that transformed post World War II in Japan, his black and white photographs express a fascination with the cultural contradictions of age-old traditions that persist within modern society. His photographs provide a harsh, crude vision of city life and the chaos of everyday existence, strange worlds and unusual characters. His work occupies a unique space between the objective and the subjective, the illusory and the real.

His solo exhibitions include “William Klein + Daido Moriyama” at Tate Modern, London in 2012, “On the Road” at The National Museum of Art, Osaka in 2011, “Daido Retrospective 1965 – 2005 / Daido Hawaii” at The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2008. He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award at the 28th Annual Infinity Awards from International Center of Photography, New York in 2012, the Culture Award from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie in Cologne 2004, the Photographic Society of Japan Lifetime Achievement Award (2004) etc.

Moriyama currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.