Almost as soon as I arrived in Japan, my overall estimation of Daido Moriyama took a plunge. I’d come with nothing but admiration, but the quality of the work he was releasing seemed average at best, while at the same time Daido paraphernalia was flooding the market. Above all, I doubted that he had anything new (and relevant) to show us early millenials.
Moriyama’s latest show at Taka Ishii Gallery, “Color,” had me going back on all that. This exhibit (and really, one particular wall of the gallery) not only shows why Moriyama should be taken seriously as a contemporary photographer, but also provides a way to understand his previous work. I wrote a review at Tokyo Art Beat which more or less expresses why I responded so well to the show. There may be no saving “Nagisa” for me—and I can’t even recommend the book version of “Color” because of the way it’s printed—but I’m definitely interested in what Daido is doing again, after a 3 year break. Of course he may disappoint again, but even so, this exhibit was an important one.