The exhibition A Diary is a room filled with many layers of a real life, and an (artist’s) “I”. 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, photo-graphing 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 dissol-ving 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 lifes out of the most banal objects, giving them an almost fetishist quality.
Daido Moriyama earned himself a reputation early on as a provocative street photographer, but his work also bears witness to the fact that a life contains many days of so many different encounters and emotional states, from despair to tenderness, from the dirty to the clean. The photographs in this exhibition stems from nearly fifty years of image creation, which cannot be read chronologically or in thematic groupings. The reproduc-tive 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. His photographs have been reproduced on coffee mugs, skateboards and t-shirts. The images are there to be encountered by many people, both in exhibition spaces and publications – they should never be exclusive.
It seems particularly appropriate that a photographer as prolific, popular and influential as Daido Moriyama is this year’s Hasselblad Award winner, since the Hasselblad Foundation’s support and presentation of photographic art is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Curators: Sara Walker & Louise Wolthers
The exhibition consists of photographs taken since the 1960s until the present. They are all lambda prints produced 2019.