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Daido Moriyama: The World through My Eyes Hardcover – November 9, 2010
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About the Author
Daido Moriyama studied photography under Takeji Iwamiya before moving to Tokyo in 1961 to work as an assistant to Eikoh Hosoe. Among the most famous of Moriyama's works is the 1971 shot of a stray dog (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). Like many of his other works it features everyday objects or landscapes shot from unfamiliar angles, giving them a stark and unusual perspective. Among the artists that influenced Moriyama are Andy Warhol, William Klein and the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. Daido Moriyama's work is permanently on exhibition at Tepper Takayama Fine Arts, Boston. Filippo Maggia teaches History of Contemporary Photography and Design at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Turin.
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If you collect Moriyama's work, this book will be a good addition to your collection. There is a vast quantity of images presented here. While the book shares images that have appeared in other books by Moriyama, the sequencing and context of images in this book is fresh and hypnotic. It is important that to note that although photography has become popularly known for the iconic individual image, work like Moriyama's is really best seen and understood in context of other images. His images thrive on sequence and derive fresh meaning from new sequencing.
For those unfamiliar with Moriyama's work, I would recommend doing an initial Internet search of images to familiarize yourself with his images. If you know his work already, then you know it is remarkable, contrasty, grainy, rough, blurred and intensely moving. Some of the work is grounded in the decisive moment, while other images float in a timeless unfocused way over the ordinary. Many of the images are grounded in the specifics of japanese culture over the last 50 years, as such they may seem to western eyes inherently exotic. But to me what is really impressive is how Moriyama is able to take the most ordinary content and find a way extract a kind of revelation, a transcendence, that goes so far beyond the actual content of the image: photograph of a cow, a dog, or a group of cats is so much more than would be expected.
These are not images that rely on traditional formalism or storytelling. The images require a rough kind of darkroom work to achieve the graininess and tonality that makes them work, and which allows them communicate what Moriyama intends. Black shadows and blown out highlights create a kind of luminance but one that is very different from the refined work of Weston or Penn. While there is a contiguous style, or active aesthetic, which holds all the work together, that aesthetic is not one of the "pretty". In fact I would argue that what holds the work together is a way of working and an ethic that governs the making of images. The ethic is of the artist being true to a way of seeing that passes reciprocally through himself, the camera, and the subject.
The instrumentality that emerged in the west during the renaissance and enlightenment formed a dichotomy of subject and object which has pervaded western art and thinking for centuries and which resulted in "the gaze". I think what is ultimately so compelling about Moriyama's work is that his ethic defeats (or at least works against) the gaze and the instrumentality of the medium of photography. This is work that allows the artist to connect his inner-self to the world around him. Moriyama has talked about photographing with is body. Where a photographer and observer like Arbus used to camera to look out starkly at the world, Moriyama is able to use the camera to blend his consciousness with the world around him in an honest and naked way. This then effectively breaks down the subject and object dichotomy creating a state of oneness and totality representing the artist and the world of which he is an inextricable part.
This book is a massive show of pictures, with almost none text, except for a short (and very clarify) interview in the begining, and a biography of Daido in the epilogue.
The pictures are almost always using the two pages spread in a horizontal view, and a few images are show in a single page, but in the whole book there is not blank pages between the pictures. This is nice and a very contemporary way to present the Moriyama work.
I love this book is a regular book, with a hard cover and non glossy pages inside. But, the utilization of the two pages spread for the pictures has an issue. The pictures are cut in the middle and is impossible to reconstruct the extensión of the original shot because the book is very thick. Is difficult bypass this issue but I am happy with this buy after all.
UPDATE: Binding didnt last at all. Worst binding of any book I own. Too bad. But this is really bad quality control. Shouldnt sell items this badly put together. That's like buying a radio and having the parts fall of first day and never go back on. Bad business.
Love Daido. Love the book. Worst purchase in terms of quality control, maybe in my life.
it has fine print and is quit big.
daido moriyama has a different perspective than other photographers.
this book is exiting and interesting.
the pictures them selfs are strong and have a strange taste of seriousness.
over all is a mast have book for the ones that are interested in didos work.
The edition is very good, as the price.
The relation between the number of pictures and the Amazon's price make of this book very cheap!
I recommend the buying, no doubt!