GALLERY HOURS | Tue.–Sat. 11:00–19:00 (Sat. 13:00–14:00 CLOSED)
CLOSED | Sun-Mon., National Holidays
*Summer Holidays: August 7-15
*Depending on COVID-19, the exhibition period and the content may be changed.
All images from the Record No.1 to No.50 by Daido Moriyama will be exhibited as a slideshow installation.
For me, “Record” is like a lifeline. It is indispensable just like electricity, water and gas are. It is because of “Record” that I keep stepping forward. It is a personal medium which allows me to constantly look back at myself.
– Daido Moriyama
Born 1938 in Osaka. After working as an assistant for photographers Takeji Iwamiya and Eikoh Hosoe, he went independent in 1964. He has been publishing his works in photography magazines among others, and received a New Artist Award from the Japan Photo Critics Association for Japan: A Photo Theater in 1967. Between 1968 and ’70 he was involved in the photo fanzine Provoke, and his style of grainy, high-contrast images that came to be referred to as “are, bure, boke” (grainy, blurry, out-of-focus) made an impact on the realm of photography. Solo shows at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain in Paris solidified Moriyama’s worldwide reputation, and in 2012, he became the first Japanese to be awarded in the category of Lifetime Achievement at the 28th Annual Infinity Awards hosted by the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York. The “William Klein + Daido Moriyama” exhibition together with William Klein at London’s Tate Modern in 2012-13 was a showdown of two immensely popular photographers that took the world by storm.
One evening in early December 2021, I met a woman named Yaco at Akio Nagasawa Publishing in the Ginza area. At the time, I was a little tired of putting only street snaps into the Record journals, and had begun to think about doing things like female portraits. That was when Mr. Nagasawa introduced me to Yaco-san. We spent a while chatting about this and that, and as the conversation went on, as if by accident, she displayed a unique kind of sensitivity, and that instantly helped me make up my mind. The next volume of Record was going to be all about Yaco-san!
Once I had made the decision, things quickly fell into place. Without further discussion, I took her around the dusky Ginza and Yurakucho neighborhoods, and took pictures of her in the rough coat that she was wearing. It was the season when Christmas illuminations were turning every street corner into a gorgeous setting, and as Yaco-san moved around freely and flexibly in front of the camera, we were done with the shooting and returned to the gallery in less than two hours.
After a short break, we did some nude shots on the floors under and above the gallery. Yaco-san undressed without hesitating, and began to strike some casual poses quite naturally before I could even start giving instructions. So all I had to do was to keep releasing the shutter, and once again, the entire session took less than two hours.
I was sure that the records and the memories of that evening, of the photographer and the photographed alike, would casually manifest themselves on the pages of Record.
Even when taking into account my motivation this time, making an entire issue of Record into a Yaco-san special was an exception to the rule I guess. Not that this is something terribly important, but it is issue number 50 after all, so with this one being a special case, from here I’m going to return to my usual pace. Walk, watch, and shoot. This is my rhythm, and this is all that I do. When I met Mr. Nagasawa in a coffee shop in Kamakura the other day, he lightly said to me, “Let’s make it to Record No. 100,” and I lightly said thank you. His commitment to the publication made me very happy. Nevertheless, I can only do one at a time, so next is number 51, and after that, number 52.
Anyway, at this point, Record is the lifework and the lifeline of my photography…
– from afterwords by Daido Moriyama
"Inudorino me toujitsuni sadamarazu"
(On a winter day, the hunter struggles to take aim.)
This haiku by the late photographer Seiryu Inoue is a phrase that I particularly like. That’s because I think the visual scene it evokes is reminiscent of Inoue himself, and the countless street photographs that he made all seem to be condensed in this one line. Inoue was a documentarist who vividly portrayed with his hand-held camera the everyday life of people in the “skid rows” of Kamagasaki (Nishinari-ku) in Osaka in the 1950s, and the image of his captivatingly intrepid style is still very much alive in my mind.
It was more than sixty years ago that Inoue taught me, a newbie who had just plunged into the world of photography in Osaka, on the spot what street photography was all about. It didn’t happen in the form of verbal lectures though. Simply following and watching him as he swiftly captured the sceneries of Kamagasaki, produced a stencil of sorts, that left such a deep impression that the street inevitably became my own hunting ground.
After moving to Tokyo, I worked as Eikoh Hosoe’s assistant for three years, before eventually embarking on my own career as a photographer at the age of 24. Throughout the six decades that followed, I remained in the field of “street photography” – in fact the only one I have ever worked in. The extremely real and charming experience of bygone days, following on the heels of Seiryu Inoue, was what initially got me there when I was a young lad.
"Ikuninka ashiotokieshi shimokuren"
(Magnolias, still there after the streets have gone silent.) by Seiryu
Volume 49 of Record contains photographs taken in the streets of Shibuya.
I have taken quite a lot of snapshots in Shibuya up to now, because for some reason I’ve been arrested by that desire to grab my camera and mix with the Shibuya crowd, be part of the hustle and bustle. I would just wander through the streets, driven by the urge to point my camera at the motley bunch of people who pass by. So I kept walking around Shibuya for three days straight until I was satisfied, at least for the time being. This is how you do it, right, Inoue-san?
– from afterwords by Daido
A few days ago in the evening, I suddenly felt the urge to take a train to Yokosuka. It was already after 8 PM when I arrived in the ”Wakamatsu Market” entertainment district behind Yokosuka Chuo Station on the Keihin Line, but due to the ongoing pandemic, the lights of the normally crowded shops were all switched off. The streets at night had turned into a bleak, dimly lit place, with the usual drunken crowd nowhere in sight. I eventually held my camera into the darkness and shot a dozen or so pictures, while walking quite naturally down the main street toward the “Dobuita-dori” district. However, most of the shops here were closed as well, and only a few people passed by. It was a truly sad and lonely sight.
“Little wonder,” I muttered to myself, considering that more than half a century had passed since the time I wandered with the camera in my hand around Yokosuka, right in the middle of the Vietnam War.
It was here in Yokosuka that I decided to devote myself to the street snap style, so the way I captured the Yokosuka cityscape defined the future direction of my photographic work altogether. I was 25 at the time, and was still in my first year as an independent photographer. I remember how determined and ambitious I was when I started shooting, eager to carry my pictures into the Camera Mainichi office and get them published in the magazine. It was a time when I spent my days just clicking away while walking around with the camera in my hand, from Yokosuka out into the suburbs, from the main streets into the back alleys.
I had been familiar with the fact that Yokosuka was a US military base since I was a kid, and it also somehow seemed to suit my own constitution, so I think my dedication helped me overcome the fearfulness that came on the flip side of the fun that was taking photos in Yokosuka.
These are the results of a mere two days of shooting, but somewhere between the changing faces of Yokosuka, and my own response from the position of a somewhat cold and distant observer in the present, I think they are reflecting the passage of time, and the transformations of the times.
– Afterword by Daido Moriyama
The exhibition of works by Shomei Tomatsu and Daido Moriyama at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) in Paris, which was repeatedly postponed for reasons related also to the spread of Covid-19, is finally opening.
When Tomatsu first approached me asking what I’d think about “the two of us doing a ‘Tokyo’ themed exhibition together,” I was shooting and doing other stuff in Okinawa. I had done quite a few exhibitions, but that would be my first one together with Tomatsu. Hearing his plans, I couldn’t think of any reason for turning the offer down, so I replied, “Yeah, sounds good. Would be great if we could make it an impressive show of our works – maybe in a shuffled style?” However, we eventually had to scrap that plan due to the totally unexpected event of Tomatsu’s passing about a year later. For me, a joint exhibition with him was a most desirable prospect, so it was highly regrettable, and also a bit discouraging. But then, another couple of years later, things took again some unforeseen turns, and now it seems that there has come a time and a place to not only realize that plan, but in my view, to do so under the best conditions we both could have asked for in terms of exhibition space and scale.
Finally, Tomatsu’s idea for a “two-man show” was to materialize, on the other side of the globe, in the form of an exhibition in Paris. Curated, produced and organized by MEP director Simon Baker and Akio Nagasawa from AKIO NAGASAWA Gallery, it takes the shape of a large-scale exhibition that features a significant number of photographs by Tomatsu and myself, albeit not in a shuffled style. In a word, it is one big “Tokyo” show. With the pandemic still going on, I’m looking forward to seeing how the people of Paris, and the people of Europe at large, will look at our exhibition. Even more than that, though, I wish Shomei Tomatsu could come to Paris to see it as well, considering that it was all his idea…
The photos in this 47th volume of Record show sceneries in the area around Tokyo Tower, which I was inspired to capture after spotting Tokyo Tower the other day, and spontaneously taking a picture of it. Needless to mention, it is again a set of “cityscapes with face masks.”
– Afterword by Daido Moriyama
RECORD (Akio Nagasawa Edition)
While searching for “a minimum media for immediately printing photos taken in everyday life and showing them by hand to those around him”, Daido Moriyma launched a self-published photograph magazine Record in 1972.
Although the publication of this magazine was temporarily suspended in May in the following year when No. 5 issue was published, it was revived in 2006 and is continuously published even today.
A digest version of this magazine from No. 1 to No. 30 was published.
The reproduced photos are as large as the original, the postscripts by Moriyama himself are also included, and the number of the photos included amounts to 280.
Record can be said to be his starting point.
Please enjoy a long journey Moriyama has taken as a photographer.
- Hand-signed copies available
- Language : Japanese