Now Reading
Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective at the Photographer’s Gallery in London
Dark Light

Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective at the Photographer’s Gallery in London

Daido Moriyama

This fall, The Photographers Gallery showcases a comprehensive UK retrospective of the renowned Japanese photographer, Daido Moriyama (b.1938). Presenting an expansive array of over 200 pieces, the display chronicles Moriyama’s photographic journey from 1964 to now. 

Occupying the entire gallery space, the exposition offers a tribute to one of the pioneering figures in modern street photography. Moriyama, with his commitment to the universal nature of photography, closely engaged with the evolving Japanese society, capturing its tussle between enduring traditions and the surging wave of post-war Westernization. His unapologetically raw, blurred, and edgy style—marked by its radical and grainy nature—has inspired a whole generation. Moriyama once commented, “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.”

Across six decades, Moriyama has been on a quest: to discover the true essence of photography. Disregarding the sanctity attached to art and historic prints, he emphasized the transformative and adaptable quality of the medium. He frequently revisited his images, playing with scale, cropping, and printing techniques. Rather than producing primarily for galleries, he tailored his craft for printed mediums. Interestingly, many of his rare photo books and magazines will debut in the UK at “Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective.”

The exhibition, which incorporates early, rare editions, out-of-print Japanese publications, and modern titles, will also feature monumental pieces and immersive installations. 

“Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective” is bifurcated into two segments. The initial section focuses on Moriyama’s nascent years, highlighting his stint with Japanese publications, his transformative impact on photojournalism, pioneering ventures with Provoke magazine, and the groundbreaking approach of his photobook Farewell Photography (1972). It was during this era that he conceived his iconic style, referred to as are, buke, boke (‘grainy, blurry, out of focus’).

The second part starts in the 1980s, highlighting Moriyama’s comeback after a break in his personal and artistic life. After this break, his work deepened, focusing more on the true nature of photography and its relationship to reality, memory, and history.

Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective 6 October 2023 – 11 February 2024 at Photographer’s Gallery London

© 2023 THE OVERVIEW. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top