Born in Osaka in 1938, Daido Moriyama is a pioneering figure in modern photography, who is renowned for capturing the social unrest of post-war Japan, a rapidly changing country caught between traditional values and nascent subcultures.
First trained in graphic design before working as Eikoh Hosoe’s assistant in the early years, Moriyama began his career as an independent photographer in 1964, gaining instant recognition with his first publication, Japan: A Photo Theater, and for his association with Provoke magazine for its second issue in 1968. Since then, Moriyama’s artistic output has shown no signs of slowing, with more than 150 publications and 100 solo exhibitions to his name to date. In search of a more subjective voice, Moriyama rejected the dominant photojournalistic style and glossy commercial imagery of the times, developing his distinctive form of expression known as “are-bure-boke” (“rough-blurry-out of focus”) in the late 1960s. His radical cropping, intense exposure, grainy and disorderly images liberated photography from tradition, capturing both the outside world and his inner state.
Major exhibitions of his work have been held at international institutions including the Tate Modern, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the National Museum of Art, Osaka; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and most recently, the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, in 2016. In 2012, Moriyama received The International Center for Photography’s Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement.