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Daido Moriyama : A Diary


On the 12th March, Foto Colectania Foundation, thanks to the collaboration of Banco Sabadell Foundation, inaugurates the exhibition DAIDO MORIYAMA: A Diary, curated by Sara Walker and Louise Wolthers, around the figure of the iconic Japanese photographer, who was awarded with the prestigious Hasselblad Award in 2019.

Moriyama is one of Japan’s most renowned photographers, celebrated for his radical approach both to medium and subject. Moriyama’s pictures embrace a highly subjective but authentic approach. Reflecting a harsh vision of city life and the chaos of everyday existence and unusual characters, his work occupies a unique space between the illusory and the real. Moriyama became the most prominent artist to emerge from the Provoke Movement, which played an important role in liberating photography from tradition and in interrogating the very nature of the medium. His bold, uncompromised style has helped engender widespread recognition of Japanese photography within an international context.

Daido Moriyama earned himself a reputation early on as a provocative street photographer. Every day he was going out with his camera to capture the most inhospitable side of the largest metropolises of Japan, but his work also bears witness to the fact that a life contains so many different encounters and emotional states, from despair to tenderness, from ugliness to beauty, from dirty to clean. The photographs in this exhibition stem from nearly fifty years of photographic creation, which cannot be read chronologically nor thematically.

The photographs of this exhibition come from the Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg (Sweden), which produced the exhibition on the occasion of giving the prestigious Hasselblad Award to Daido Moriyama in 2019. The prolific and influential Japanese artist was awarded what is considered to be the Nobel Prize for photography, the year the Hasselblad Foundation celebrated its 40th anniversary.



The exhibition presented in Foto Colectania is a tour through the work of this photographer that has influenced subsequent generations around the world. A Diary is a room filled with many layers of a real life: Daido Moriyama’s life is his images. He works insistently every day, collecting what he sees, does and passes by. He has been on a journey his whole life, at times extremely local, photographing his neighbourhood in Tokyo, but also on long trips to America and Europe. The different parts of the world are treated with the same honesty, especially the same frenetic movement forwards. Stop and take a photo, move on. There is no hierarchical idea in his choice of motifs and this is reflected in the works in the exhibition Certain photographs are raw, almost dissolving into abstraction but they still share a distinctive photographic expression with the quiet, contemplative street scenes or self-portraits in hotel rooms. He has a way of creating decadent still lives out of the most banal objects, giving them an almost fetishist quality.

“Daido Moriyama’s representation of life is not censored nor afraid of the ugly nor the beautiful. He is a really innovative photographer and an inspiration for people from many creative fields, not only within art and photography”, Sara Walker and Louise Wolthers, curators of the exhibition, claim.

The reproductive characteristics of photography are important to Daido Moriyama. He sometimes takes photos of his own photos, which he in turn photographs, in something that resembles a game with his own body of work. “I take pictures, but I don’t really consider it an art. Sometimes I like making screen shots. I look for different forms of expression… I also like to see my photos printed on T-shirts,” says Moriyama in a video recording, in which the influence of his past as a graphic designer is reflected.



From March 12th to June 21st 2020

Fundación Foto Colectania

Passeig Picasso 14

08003 Barcelona







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