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 on four projects over the years: Miyajima, L.A. Noir, Color and most recently, Classic Daido


Classic Daido

Classic Daido contains a selection of prints of Moriyama’s early black and white street photography, culled directly from the artist’s studio archive. The portfolio is comprised of 12 iconic images that capture Moriyama’s impulse to show the world as momentary fragments that capture the urban psyche. The selection reveals the expansiveness of his perspective and the psychological breadth of his vision, which he has called “the eyes of a dog.” Moriyama’s juxtaposition of the forgotten, surreal, and infamous underscores the heightened transience of the moment. Within Moriyama’s world, the eternally fleeting present is the artist’s ultimate reality.


L.A. Noir

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 8 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 Moriyama’s 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. 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. 



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.