Today was the Daido Moriyama Printing Show at Tate Modern and I thankfully was able to get a ticket. The idea is based on the book Another Country in New York, where Moriyama rented a shop, photocopier, and a silk screen press, and would assemble a copy of the book, in front of you, while you waited. Every copy of the book was different. What an amazing idea.
This printing show was a chance to create your own signed, limited edition book, called MENU. There were 60 double images on the wall and each person could select 20 double images and then choose between a choice of two silk screen covers, silver or blue. The book was assembled while you wait, signed by Moriyama and handed over.
I love books in general, not just photo books, and I’m a huge fan of Moriyama, so this event was particularly thrilling. I think the process of choosing and ordering the images gave a very different experience and it was a wonderful way to interact with the work. The photo book is so important to Moriyama’s work and this certainly beat just looking at books through a piece of glass.
While I was considering my own book Moriyama was also choosing images for his own personal copy. I looked over his shoulder and read a few of his choices. All colour images. I settled on mainly black and white, a mixture of Daido’s obsessions, lips, legs, shop fronts. That sort of thing. When choosing the book I didn’t quite understand the way it would be ordered as I was a bit hungover. When I handed over the ticket I mooched around looking at the images. There were a lot of cameras in there, as you would expect. When my number was called I walked over as Dadio Moriyama signed the book and passed it on. I said “thank you,” and he replied, “thank you.”
The exhibition is also a must see. His image making is relentlessly brilliant and it’s also interesting seeing the seminal books, bye bye photography for example, laid out on walls. It gives the work a bit of a different feel and it’s nice to look at these works in a different way. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll make a couple of trips to see this as it’s not something that we get too often. Also, there’s work at the Michael Hoppen Gallery (I think they’re his UK gallery.)
Final note. The bookshop is packed with loads of Moriyama books. Form the Record series to Magazine work, to the recent reprint series and they’re also doing two silk screen prints, £225 each, signed.