Photographer Daido Moriyama Documents The Clash Of Ritual And Progress In His Inaugural Exhibition

by Clementina Marini Clarelli

Daido Tokyo is open through June 5, 2016 at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.
Paris, February 6, 2016, the Fondation Cartier Pour l’Art Contemporain inaugurated the first major exhibition devoted to the color photography of Daido Moriyama. The exhibition entitled Daido Tokyo, curated by Hervé Chandès and Alexis Fabry, brings together more than 100 color photographs by the Japanese photographer produced in the last ten years. These photographs represent a lesser-known body of work by the artist, who gained international importance through his earlier black and white images.

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Moriyama began his career as a photographer when he moved to Tokyo in 1961. His earlier work is strongly influenced by avant-garde photographers Shomei Tomatsu and Eikoh Hosoe, and by the action-oriented approach of William Klein and Robert Frank. Moriyama’s street photography is characterized by its tilted angles and unfocused appearance, a reflection of the disjunctive nature of the contemporary urban setting depicted.

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Moriyama started experimenting with color photography in the 1970s, and by the early 2000s he was shooting mainly in color and then converting the images to black and white. In 2008 the artist began to preserve his work in color, producing a large number of photographs, many of which are included in the exhibition.

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For Moriyama, color becomes a powerful tool to depict reality more explicitly, without filter, while black and white remains the medium associated with the realm of symbolism. By complementing the two mediums, Moriyama’s photography depicts a vision of the world that is both grounded in reality and tied to a subjective experience.

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The exhibition will also include Dog and Mesh Tights, a new work by the artist commissioned specifically for Daido Tokyo. The installation, made of a multi-screen projection, will include photographs of subjects the artist encountered on the streets of six different cities: Tokyo, Honk Kong, Taipei, Arles, Houston and Los Angeles. Meshed together to form a ‘photographic map’ the result conveys “the confusing interaction of people and things” in the urban setting.

More on Daido Tokyo at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.