2012 Infinity Award: Lifetime Achievement
Daido Moriyama is one of Japan's leading figures in photography. Witness to the spectacular changes that transformed post World War II Japan, his black and white photographs express a fascination with the cultural contradictions of age-old traditions that persist within modern society. Providing a harsh, crude vision of city life and the chaos of everyday existence, strange worlds, and unusual characters, his work occupies a unique space between the objective and the subjective, the illusory and the real. Moriyama's use of a small hand held automatic camera gives his images a loose and casual aesthetic, undermined by a forceful and decisive point of view.
Moriyama was born in 1938 in Osaka. In the early 1960s, he served as an assistant to photographer Eikoh Hosoe and then began his own freelance career, which took off in 1964 when he met Takuma Nakahira, editor of Gendai no Me (The Modern Eye), who published his work. He has since received a number of awards for his photography, including: the New Artist Award from the Japan Photo Critics Association (1967), the Photographer of the Year Award from the Photographic Society of Japan (1983), the Mainichi Art Award (2003), Der Kulturpreis der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Photographie (2004), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Photographic Society of Japan (2004). His work has been exhibited throughout the world, and his numerous books are considered landmarks of photographic publishing.