Fracture: Daido Moriyama

Pavilion for Japanese Art, Level 3
April 7, 2012–July 29, 2012
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Photographer Daido Moriyama (Japan, b. 1938) first came to prominence in the mid-1960s with his gritty depictions of Japanese urban life. His highly innovative and intensely personal photographic approach often incorporates high contrast, graininess, and tilted vantages to convey the fragmentary nature of modern realities. Fracture: Daido Moriyama presents a range of the artist’s black-and-white photographs, exemplifying the radical aesthetic of are, bure, boke (grainy, blurry, out-of-focus), as well as the debut of recent color work taken in Tokyo. A selection of his photo books—Moriyama has published more than forty to date—highlights the artist’s experiments with reproduction media and the transformative possibilities of the printed page.  Moriyama’s achievements convey the artist’s boldly intuitive exploration of urban mystery, memory, and photographic invention.

Born in Ikeda, Osaka, Daido Moriyama first trained in graphic design before taking up photography with Takeji Iwaniya, a professional photographer of architecture and crafts. Moving to Tokyo in 1961, he assisted photographer Eikoh Hosoe for three years and became familiar with the trenchant social critiques produced by photographer Shomei Tomatsu. He also drew inspiration from William Klein’s confrontational photographs of New York, Andy Warhol’s silkscreened multiples of newspaper images, and the writings of Jack Kerouac and Yukio Mishima.

Film Series—High and Low: Postwar Japan in Black and White 

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with support from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. Curated by Edward Robinson, Associate Curator of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department.

Image: Daido Moriyama, Shinjuku #11, 2000, gelatin silver print, 13 1/4 x 9 in., courtesy of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck. © Daido Moriyama

Untitled
Daido Moriyama
c. 1975
Beauty Parlor, Tokyo
Daido Moriyama
c. 1975
Kagerō (Mayfly)
Daido Moriyama
1972
Tokyo
Daido Moriyama
1981

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Fracture: Daido Moriyama features both black-and-white and color photographs from the renowned Japanese photographer’s career, which spans more than four decades. Also presented in the small exhibition is a six-minute clip from a documentary on Moriyama from 2010 titled, Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog of Tokyo. I recently watched the entirety of this clip for the first time, even though it was probably my fifth or sixth visit to the exhibition...

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