Issue 47 of Daido Moriyama’s long-running series of photography zines takes place in the area around the iconic Tokyo Tower. In the afterword, Moriyama writes that the Tower inspired him after spotting it by chance and capturing a photo of it. In “Record No. 47”, Moriyama is in excellent form, with photographs as expressive and imaginative as ever. Adding to classic Moriyama motifs such as mannequin dolls, shop-windows, advertisements and street scene details, “Record No. 47” also includes a high number of people in its photographs.
“The exhibition of works by Shomei Tomatsu and Daido Moriyama at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) in Paris, which was repeatedly postponed for reasons related also to the spread of Covid-19, is finally opening.
When Tomatsu first approached me asking what I’d think about “the two of us doing a ‘Tokyo’ themed exhibition together,” I was shooting and doing other stuff in Okinawa. I had done quite a few exhibitions, but that would be my first one together with Tomatsu. Hearing his plans, I couldn’t think of any reason for turning the offer down, so I replied, “Yeah, sounds good. Would be great if we could make it an impressive show of our works – maybe in a shuffled style?” However, we eventually had to scrap that plan due to the totally unexpected event of Tomatsu’s passing about a year later. For me, a joint exhibition with him was a most desirable prospect, so it was highly regrettable, and also a bit discouraging. But then, another couple of years later, things took again some unforeseen turns, and now it seems that there has come a time and a place to not only realize that plan, but in my view, to do so under the best conditions we both could have asked for in terms of exhibition space and scale.
Finally, Tomatsu’s idea for a “two-man show” was to materialize, on the other side of the globe, in the form of an exhibition in Paris. Curated, produced and organized by MEP director Simon Baker and Akio Nagasawa from AKIO NAGASAWA Gallery, it takes the shape of a large-scale exhibition that features a significant number of photographs by Tomatsu and myself, albeit not in a shuffled style. In a word, it is one big “Tokyo” show. With the pandemic still going on, I’m looking forward to seeing how the people of Paris, and the people of Europe at large, will look at our exhibition. Even more than that, though, I wish Shomei Tomatsu could come to Paris to see it as well, considering that it was all his idea…
The photos in this 47th volume of Record show sceneries in the area around Tokyo Tower, which I was inspired to capture after spotting Tokyo Tower the other day, and spontaneously taking a picture of it. Needless to mention, it is again a set of “cityscapes with face masks.”
― Daido Moriyama’s afterword