Excerpted from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Daido Moriyama: Hunter, a series of 40 vintage prints of postwar Japan by one of its foremost photographers, Daido Moriyama (b. 1938), is on view in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s North Mezzanine Gallery, in the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing.
The installation runs concurrently with Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog at Japan Society Gallery, featuring 130 vintage photographs from the 1960s through the 1990s. Together, the two presentations constitute the first American retrospective of Moriyama’s work. The exhibition was co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Japan Society Gallery.
Hunter, one of the major photographic works of its time, represents a “picture” of Japan’s changing society in the wake of the Second World War, when Moriyama found his country in the throes of vast change as Western mores and mass media invaded traditional ways of life. Recognizing the conflicts and the vitality of this new Japan, as well as the continuity of sex and violence, Moriyama shot a poetic sequence of dark, intense photographs from the shadows and from the windows of a moving car. Lyrically arranged and published as Hunter (1972), a book dedicated to the Beat generation American writer Jack Kerouac, these extraordinary images are virtually unknown in America.
Daido Moriyama: Hunter was organized by Sandra S. Phillips, Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and at the Metropolitan Museum is coordinated by Maria Morris Hambourg, Curator in Charge, and Laura Muir, Research Associate, both of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Photographs.
Daido Moriyama: Hunter and Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog are accompanied by a comprehensive illustrated catalogue featuring essays by Sandra S. Phillips, Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Alexandra Munroe, Director of Japan Society Gallery.
Following its showing at Japan Society Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum, the exhibition will travel to the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University; the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; the Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland; and the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany. It will also be shown at several venues in Japan.