Daido Moriyama
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Courtesy and Copyright of the Artist and Tepper Takayama Fine Arts

Daido Moriyama, Yotsuya, Tokyo, 1997
Daido (Hiromichi Moriyama) was born in 1938, in Ikeda-cho, Osaka, Japan. Upon his father's death, he left high school, briefly working as a graphic designer. He began his photographic career studying with Takeji Iwamiya in 1951. He subsequently joined Tokyo's avant-garde VIVO, workshop in 1958, just as it was closing, and then apprenticed to Eikoh Hosoe. He also collaborated on PROVOKE magazine where he met Shomei Tomatsu.

In contrast with other contemporaries, his work neither makes a political statement nor offers a critical view of the western influence on post-war Japanese culture. He has always been interested in the diverse fashion in which American culture has influenced his homeland. His work is an ongoing narrative which forms a cumulative record of Japan's often contradictory social fabric.

Mr. Moriyama himself is a charismatic figure. His black-clad persona is an engaging admixture of cultural sophistication, intense professionalism, a Japanese sense of chivalry and Bohemian glamour. Jack Kerouac, William Klein, Yukio Mishima, Ikko Narahara, Takuma Nakahira, Nicephore Niepce, Shomei Tomatsu, and Andy Warhol are all significant influences on his work.

Moriyama's images are the subject of solo exhibitions world-wide. Perhaps best known in the western world is Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog which travelled from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Japan Society in New York, Harvard University Art Museums, Massachusetts, and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, from 1999 to 2002.

His lengthy bibliography includes Farewell Photography, Hunter, Light and Shadow, and Lettre á St. Loup. He received the Mainichi Art Award, Der Kulturpreis (The Cultural Award) der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Photographic Society of Japan among others.

Moriyama works incessantly on his preferred street photography, often shooting literally from the hip. He also experiments with color and digital imagery, teaches, writes, lectures and participates in performances. He travels extensively photographing new enigmatic essays. Recent venues include Buenos Aires, São Paulo, and the islands of Hawaii. He also re-examines, and records his native Japan. Video, television and a full length documentary film have made him an intellectual icon and powerful cultural influence on younger generations of photographers and artists.