Daido Moriyama – Stray Dog
Daido Moriyama was born in 1938 in Ikeda, a town outside Osaka, only seven years before “Hiroshima” and “Nagasaki”, the atomic bomb attacks which decisively altered life and culture in Japan. After the Second Worl War—like everywhere else but much more quickly, rapidly, dramatically – in Japan there arose a clash between the old, insular, isolated tradition and a “new” Japan swiftly pervaded by Americanisms.
For Moriyama, as for many other artists, this new Japan became a central theme of his work, and the invasion of Americanisms ambivalently received as both threat and liberation, as shocking and fascinating. Moriyama´s photographs are grainy, full of hard contrasts, intentionally rough, murky, and quickly developed. These are the photographic representations of a Japanese Existentialism which had to experience a “being cast into existence” parallel with the victory march of consumerism; a photographic Existentialism which, under the influence of William Klein, Andy Warhol, of James Baldwin and Jack Kerouac, as well as of Mishima and Shuji Terayama´s experimental theatre, developed its own formal language which visualises the drama, severity, rapidity of change: An exceptional work on the Japanese transition.
The exhibition was curated by Sandra S. Phillips. Realisation in Winterthur: Urs Stahel. A cooperation with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Japan Society Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Folkwang Museum, Essen.