Tokyo, c. 1971. ©Daido Moriyama/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation.
Tokyo, c. 1971. ©Daido Moriyama/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation.

From the 9th of April, the IMS Paulistapresents the first major retrospective of Daido Moriyama in Latin America. The exhibition brings together more than 250 works, in addition to a hundred publications and writings by the Japanese photographer, one of the main names in contemporary photography worldwide. Through two floors of the institute, filled with the artist's work, it is possible to glimpse different moments of his career, from his interest in the experimental theater of the 1960s, through the challenging works of the 1970s, to the documentation of cities and the reinvention of his own file in recent years. The exhibition is curated by Thyago Nogueira, coordinator of the Photography area  Contemporary of the IMS, being the result of three years of research, visits to the Moriyama archive in Tokyo, and consultation with Japanese researchers Yutaka Kambayashi, Satoshi Machiguchi and Kazuya Kimura.

Born in 1938 in Ikeda-cho, Osaka, Moriyama spent his childhood in several cities. After graduating in design, he moved to Tokyo in 1961, where he began to photograph for major newspapers and magazines, in a period of economic growth and strengthening of mass culture. Soon, he became known for his grainy, high-contrast black and white photographs. Moriyama challenged conventional ideas of documentary photography and photographic reality in his abundant production, in which books and independent publications play a fundamental role; the photographer's production is closely associated with the publishing industry, rather than the art circuit.

Actor plays a woman in a play, Tokyo, 1966. From the Japan series, a photo theater. ©Daido Moriyama/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation.
Actor plays a woman in a play, Tokyo, 1966. From the Japan series, a photo theater. ©Daido Moriyama/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation.

The first floor of the exhibition highlights the 1960s and 1970s, an early time for Moriyama influenced by post-war masters such as Eikoh Hosoe and Shōmei Tōmatsu, and American artists such as William Klein and Andy Warhol. During this period, the photographer documented the effervescent Japanese culture, marked by the destruction of war, the occupation of American troops, the disappearance of traditional ways of life and the westernization of the country. In 1969, Moriyama joined the team of the controversial magazine Provoke, formed by artists and intellectuals who questioned the submission of images to words and engaged realism. The publication enshrined the style air, hole, boke (grainy, shaky, out of focus), which would mark Japanese photography of the period. A few years later, Moriyama produced the book Goodbye, photography! (1972), a collection of images made of erased, scratched and unusable negatives, almost indiscernible. According to the curator, the publication, which completes 50 years in 2022, he reveals “an artist’s revolt against his submission to the photographic code, the ultimate expression of disbelief in the transforming power of images”. About this period, the artist himself says: “I tried to dismantle photography, but I ended up dismantling myself”.

On the second floor, the retrospective presents Moriyama's return to artistic work in the 1980s, after a moment of depression and creative crisis. Among the works are the famous series Light and shadow e Memories of a Dog, published between 1982 and 1983. The exhibition also features the complete archive of the magazine All time lap record, his personal diary started in 1972, which reaches its 50th edition in 2022. In the center of the floor, a large library table displays several books by the artist, many of them available for public reading.

Where: Avenida Paulista, 2424 – São Paulo (SP)
When: From April 9 to August 14, 2022.
Open Hours Tuesday to Sunday and holidays (except Monday) from 10 am to 20 pm.
Entrance: Admission is free, released upon presentation of proof of vaccination against Covid-19 (for everyone over 5 years old). Use of masks is recommended.


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