Daido Moriyama. Marrakech: Shooting Light at The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts

© Daido Moriyama, Marrakech, 1989.

Daido Moriyama. Marrakech: Shooting Light is the latest exhibition at The Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts, on till 10th January 2016. I recently bought the book Daido Moriyama: Marrakech and would love to see the work in larger prints.  

Marrakech: Shooting Light comprises three groups of works in three spaces.

In Room 1 a selection of Moriyama’s most iconic and recognizable images from Japan in the 1970s and 80s, including images from his best-known publications Japan A Photo TheatreA HunterLight and Shadow and Lettre à St-Loup.

In Room 2, the slide-shows Hokkaido, an extensive body of work made in the north of Japan since the late 1970s; and Record, works published by Moriyama of photographs of cities around the world from 1972 to the present day.

In Room 3 Marrakech, an installation of photographs taken during Moriyama’s first visit to Morocco in 1989.

Marrakech is just one of a number of cities in which Moriyama has made work as an outsider, in stark contrast to his lifelong commitment to revisiting and re-photographing the streets of Tokyo where he has lived for half a century.

Moriyama came to Marrakech in 1989 having been asked to take pictures in the city as a commission for a Japanese magazine. At the time he was living mostly in Paris (despite speaking little French or English), exploring a city that had occupied his thoughts and imagination since seeing French cinema while growing up. Inspired equally by an idealized, romantic sense of Paris, and the dead-pan photographic documents of the historic city made by the Eugène Atget at the end of the nineteenth-century, Moriyama began to make his own reflections on a place which previously knew only from a distance.

Despite having travelled to Europe prior to 1988, Moriyama had made little work there, and had published only one book on a city outside Japan: a self-published photo-copy book entitled Another Country in New York (1974). However, from the late 1980s onwards Moriyama would travel extensively making work in, and about, some of the world’s great cities from Europe to Asia and in both North and Latin America.

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