Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stray Dog Homecoming: Daido Moriyama Returns To NYC

Black-and-white, high contrast, rough grains, askew, out of focus. Daido Moriyama’s thought-provoking photographic pieces--exhibited in Stray Dog at Japan Society in 1999--brought to light the dark, raw reality of Japanese city life when the nation struggled to reclaim its cultural identity in the midst of Western influences.

Moriyama was born in 1938 in the city of Osaka and started his photography career at 21, apprenticing with the famed Eikoh Hosoe, as Japan was still building from the occupation years. Some see in his work echoes of Japanese photographers Seiryu Inoue and Shomei Tomatsu as well as American artists such as Andy Warhol and William Klein, but for six decades his work has been quintessential Moriyama. From shadowy images of nude figures in the seedy underground to close-ups of seemingly random objects in Tokyo alleys, the work is an abstract of modernity taking hold of postwar Japan.

On November 4 & 5 Moriyama appears in Aperture Foundation’s PRINTING SHOW—TKY. Part of Performa 2011, this re-creation of his‘74 performance piece invites gallery patrons to suggest and arrange duplicates of Moriyama’s prints, photocopied onsite by the artist himself, to create a series of photobooks on display through November.

The day before the performances, Moriyama returns to Japan Society in An Evening with Daido Moriyama, discussing his many ventures into the photography world with a focus on his series 71 New York and PRINTING SHOW. Moderated by International Center of Photography curator Christopher Phillips, the evening offers fans and photographers alike insight into the life, work and high-contrast technique of the modern master.

--Sean Tomizawa

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