Born in Ikeda, Osaka in 1938 Hiromichi Moriyama lived his early years in troubled and unsettled times. His family moved frequently owing to his father's work. Whenever he moved he wandered the streets exploring his surroundings. He grew up in the darkness of post war Japan. Known most famously for his image Stray Dog. He later changed his name to Diado Moriyama. These early experiences and his famous image were to end up shaping his style as he wanders around the street of cities of Japan like a stray dog poking his nose in everywhere and exploring back streets and alleys. He revels in being likened to a stray dog, honoured even. He does not consider photography and art but shoots anything and everything democratically. The camera is merely a reproduction device for him as he often take photos of his own images. It is not a creative device but an imitative device. Moriyama flies in the face of convention of his time with his concept of "ARE BURE BOKEH" ( Grainy, Blurry, Out Of Focus ) in which he provokes discussion around the very nature of photography and attempts to redefine it. He becomes a founder member of the short lived Provoke movement whose stated aims are to have no desire to produce "Good Work" as interpreted by the values of the past. Asked to define photography he will say. "Photographs are pieces of the everlasting world – daily life – and fossils of light and time. They are also fragments of presentiment, inspiration, record, and memory about human beings and their history, as well as another language and world that becomes visible and intelligible through objectifying reality by means of cameras. Photography is the act of fixing time, not of expressing the world." The American influence in post war Japan is prominent and he draws inspiration from Klein and Warhol during the turbulent rebellious times of political upheaval of the 60s in Japan. Moriyama’s aesthetic and his method of taking quick snapshots without looking through the viewfinder are two distinctive features of his work. His photographs experiment with light, shade, and abstraction while allowing for serendipity and accident. He views the world as an erotic space and is drawn to all sort of things. Cities are bodies of peoples desires to be sliced in time, as he searches for his own desires within them. Diado turns his back on the structured realism of traditional photography in favour of a more personal subjective approach. Instead of capturing what is seen his images hint at what he feels. Importantly he likes taking snapshots in the movement of both himself and the outside world. ( Blurry , Out of Focus ). He takes joy in using a low quality point and shoot for its unobtrusiveness and low ( if not zero ) shutter noise. Separated by vastly different cultures it is often difficult to relate to a foreign philosophy, nevertheless I feel a sense of affinity with his aesthetic at times. Here we attempt to create a high contrast, grainy monochrome E-Film for the Canon G7X ii point and shoot ( added grain and clarity in Lightroom (ugh), pity its not a fuji with built in grain and clarity options ) , and see if we can do justice to the "ARE BURE BOKEH" stray dog. Why black and white and not colour - because it has stronger elements of abstraction or symbolism he says.
For another perspective on this concept I refer you to post #729 Bend it like Daido , penned by our fearless leader.
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