Daido Moriyama Japan, b. 1938

If an image is good, it is brough back to life by the feelings of the viewer.

-Daido Moriyama


The Lapis Press collaborated with Daido Moriyama for three projects. Miyajima (1973) shows the sitter straight on, her eyes direct. The flashes of purple bleeding through the composition exist in the original transparency and are not the result of digital manipulation. There are elements from Moriyama’s black & white work-- the lips and graphic background--but in color the focus on her face feels intimate.


Daido Moriyama came to Los Angeles for his solo exhibition and a talk at LACMA’s Pavilion for Japanese Art in 2012. During that trip, he photographed parts of Beverly Hills, Mulholland drive, downtown near Olvera Street, Little Tokyo, and the Santa Monica pier from his unique perspective of urban vignettes. The eight prints in L.A. Noir are extracted from the booklet, Record No. 22, of images shot during this visit. Moriyama employed his random and voyeuristic style to the drive-by, fleeting energy of the city with an unsentimental directness while the black palette of the series is a vivid counterpoint to the cliché of Southern California sunshine.


The pictures in Color show a continuation of subjects found in his earliest work. Most of these photographs were made in Shinjuku, a lively, colorful and sometimes grimy part of Tokyo famous for its vital nightlife and a favorite hunting-place for the artist. But he was and remains a traveler. In the picture of a quiet road in Aomori, near where he found the Stray Dog, he notices the gentle light of day fading in the street, and the vivid, alluring signs inviting visitors inside for drinks and other pleasures.