Online gallery of Japanese contemporary art

Northern No.3 by Daido Moriyama

Northern No.3

Northern No.3


Artist: Daido Moriyama
Size:?H7.9 x W10in (H20.1 x W25.4cm)No Frame
Image Size:?H6.1 x W8.4 in (H15.4 x W21.3cm)
Year: 2008
Delivery Time:??2 weeks
Provided in the partnership with:Akio Nagasawa

Price: US$980 + Shipping fee
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This photograph comes as part of the photo book named “Northern” which was published in conjunction with Moriyama’s exhibition “Hokkaido”, the name of the northernmost prefecture of Japan. You can pick one image from the 5 photographs.

In the summer of 1978, Moriyama in a deep trough. He visited Hokkaido and shot about 2,000 photographs there and for the next 30 years the negatives would slumber peacefully in a cardboard box, unprinted, until 2008. In 2008, Moriyama carefully rechecked his negatives, handpicked the best for printing and displayed the photographs in the exhibition “Hokkaido”.
Why did Moriyama stop taking pictures?
Moriyama’s signature high contrast black and white, coarse grained photography was best summed up in the phrase “rough, slur, blur” and his photographs were regularly featured in camera magazines, causing waves in the Japanese photography circles of the 60s and 70s.
But Moriyama’s radical probes in his search for the answer to the question “What is photography?” and the answer he found through the successful publication of “Good-bye photography (Shashin-yo-Sayounara)” in 1972, unfortunately landed him in a deep depression. He was no longer able to press the shutter. However, his stay in Hokkaido in 1978 saved him from this trough. As a Tokyo-ite, Hokkaido to Moriyama was the foreign country he had always admired, and despite his anxieties he could continue taking pictures there every day.

Speaking of that period in his life, Moriyama made the following comment.
“I rented a room in an apartment for 3 months. During my stay, I promised myself to go out and take pictures everyday as long as it wasn’t raining. (Though I should have gone out even when it rained.) …. By bus and train, I went here and there in Hokkaido with my camera. Sometimes I spent the night out of my apartment but I usually dragged myself all the way back, eating bread and drinking whisky in a cold room. I’d suffer through another long night just being depressed without understanding why.”?(reference: last chapter of “Dog’s memory (inu-no-kioku)”)