The Photographers’ Gallery presents the first UK retrospective of work by the acclaimed Japanese photographer, Daido Moriyama (b.1938). Featuring over 200 works, spanning from 1964 until the present day, Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective traverses different moments of Moriyama’s vast and productive career. Taking over the whole Gallery, this exhibition celebrates one of the most innovative and influential artists and street photographers of our day.
Championing photography as a democratic language, Moriyama inserted himself up close with Japanese society, capturing the clash of Japanese tradition with an accelerated Westernization in post-war Japan. With his non-conformist approach and desire to challenge the medium, his work is tirelessly unpretentious, raw, blurred, radical and grainy and has defined the style of an entire generation.
“Forget everything you’ve learned on the subject of photography for the moment, and just shoot. Take photographs – of anything and everything, whatever catches your eye. Don’t pause to think.” – Daido Moriyama
Moriyama has spent his sixty-year career asking a fundamental question: what is photography? He rejected the dogmatism of art and the veneration of vintage prints, making the accessible and reproducible aspects of photography its most radical asset. Over and over, he reused his photographs in different contexts, experimenting with enlargements, crops and printing. Most of his work was made for printed pages rather than gallery walls. Fittingly, Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective will be the first UK exhibition to showcase many of his rare photobooks and magazines.
These publications, dating from early rare editions and out-of-print Japanese magazines to more recent titles, will be on show alongside large-scale works and installations. The magazines and photobooks will give visitors unrivalled access to abundant archival and visual material to view, read and discover.