Backstreet boxers, male prostitutes and strippers populate the world of influential Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama, who tells it how it is in his unpolished records of Tokyo street life. The veteran artist, born in 1938 in Osaka, moved to the capital in 1961, and has been prowling the city’s back alleys and dark corners ever since, shooting from the hip (often literally) in a remarkable and critically acclaimed career. Searching Journeys, on display at Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong, is a survey that goes back to the beginning, tracing Moriyama’s development and highlighting his importance within the Japanese movement.
Usually armed with only a handheld automatic camera, Moriyama is noted for his practice of shooting on instinct, without using the viewfinder. This creates quirky and interesting angles, and causes sections of his images to be intriguingly out of focus. Darkness is also a fascinatingly obfuscating part of his style, which shows characteristics of both Japanese forerunners and American contemporaries such as William Klein. As well as the seedier side of the Shinjuku district he frequented, Moriyama also finds compelling subjects among Tokyo’s everyday people and places, on whom he casts a mysterious veil. Explore the Moriyama oeuvre from 14 March to 7 May.