NUMBERED / Box features signs of wear by design
Daido Moriyama’s “Random Walk” consists of a blank album and 100 loose polaroid images taken by the Japanese master photographer. The polaroids (62 in black and white, 38 in color) feature scenes shot on the streets of Tokyo (and perhaps other Japanese cities) as well as motifs shot in more private settings, such as a series of images showing a woman’s feet and behind. The polaroids may be enjoyed in any order—a random walk through a day in Moriyama’s life—or permanently arranged in the empty photo album that is part of this box.
“[B]oth my self and other people who look at black and white photographs don’t see only the concrete events they depict, but in my view these pictures hit us right from the start with their transferred ‘extraordinariness’, instantly stimulate our imaginative understanding of the imagery purified into shades of black and white, and let us experience a different reality through the encounter with the ‘alien world’. This is at least about what attracts me so much about black and white photography.
On the other hand, if you ask me why I take color photographs, especially color Polaroids, I think it is probably because they allow me to directly experience the essence of photography, which is to make copies of the real world. Paradoxically that overly real world captured by color Polaroids takes me to an ‘alien world’.
After all, it seems like when I walk the streets, I am looking for somewhere other than here, in other words, I probably release the shutter only when I feel I have found the entrance to that ‘alien world.’”
― from Daido Moriyama’s afterword (included in Japanese & English translation)