I was flicking through some book reviews, when I came across one about Daido Moriyama's new book 'Record' known as Kiroku in Japanese. It is the collection of the first 30 issues of his personal magazine dating back to 1970s. Basically it chronicles his image making and some thoughts over the time period.
After reading the revue I had an irresistible feeling that I should obtain a copy. Although I am interested in Japanese photography I cannot say I know anything about Moriyama's work apart from he is a street photographer, which has a strong appeal.
With a copy of Record in my hand and weight being the measure of quality, this is in the five star category. When you slide the book out of it's slip case you are presented with black edged pages and flush black edge hard cover something I have not seen before. This in itself brings a drama to what is to follow.
When you open the book you are presented with silky smooth gloss white pages that keeps you in suspense as Mark Holborn introduces you to Daido Moriyama and sets the stage for the images to come.
Wow! And what a shock they are! pulling no punches in their very high contrast look making full use of the term black and white. It takes time for your eyes to adjust to the rich black, making it difficult to see what the images are about. This is partly because these images are made on film at night without the use of flash making them very grainy. This graininess has been translated to the gloss pages by the printing technique making the pages gritty to the touch and adding a textural impact to the pictures.
He does not just use monochrome film there are some magazines in colour where he plays with the vibrancy of the colour.
For a book that I decided to obtain on a whim, I have been very impressed by the images within. Yes the blackness, odd angles and graininess of the images are an assault on your sensibility's but that is what makes his work different.
It is a book to be enjoyed at leisure over many days and not all at once.