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Daido Moriyama, the cities and I

"I have always felt that the world is an erotic place... For me cities are enormous bodies of people’s desires. And as I search for my own desires within them, I slice into time, seeing the moment. That’s the kind of camera work I like." Daido Moriyama

I love Hungarian, French and German photographers. I do. But I’m also fascinated by underground Asian street photography. With that said, I have to write about this one that I truly admire: Daido Moriyama. If you are familiar with Asian street photographers, you know him. If you are not, dive with me into his unique world.

© Daido Moriyama


When I think of Tokyo, one of the first things that comes to my mind is Daido’s work (and also the unforgettable Lost in Translation movie by Sofia Coppola). Back to Daido. When I see his work, I clearly see the everyday life of Japanese people. The common suddenly through his lens become extraordinary. And I love it. You can eve smell his pictures so raw his images are! The streets, the lights, the vibrant black and white, people’s face, dog’s faces, the food, the pleasure, the business men, the coffee shops, the underground world. What this has to do with my work? Well, cities are the main theme in my photography. Add to all that I said about Daido’s work, also, the will to travel to unknown cities, not only a specific one. But the most populated ones. Even though I love to have silhouettes people on my photos, I also love the absence of loudness. There is so much of Daido in my work, perhaps more than I realize. I see much of it in some cities even more than others, like Berlin, NYC and São Paulo. Of course, these are non stop cities.

Berlin © Fabiolla Loureiro

“Every city, no matter how it looks is a work of art. Fifty years have lapsed and with the thousands of photographs I have taken, I still find photography amazing. There are still millions of things and people that are worthy to be shot.” Daido Moriyama

Off the landmarks

One of Daido's signature is the everyday life in Tokyo, mainly in the streets of Shinjuku. Not landmarks, not tourism sites, no, none of it. The city itself is a sea of subjects he captures with his camera in a never ending land of images. Of course that every time I visit a new city, interests me to know the landmarks of it. But also, the beauty to wonder as a non tourist in unknown places fascinates me. To get lost in narrow streets, walk with the camera in my hand, moving from place to place. The elements of street photography is the language in my work that explodes in a colorful world of intense black and white.


I can’t see the point of taking complicated photographs when taking good ones is so simple. You just have to keep your finger on the button.Daido Moriyama

© Daido Moriyama

We see in Daido's work spontaneous and intuitive photos of Japanese people. Why complicate when is so simply to take good photos of common situations? That’s what I try to bring to my work. To be able to transform the ordinary into extraordinary. To bring before your eyes beauty in the most silly ways. A creative process of authentic situations; an extension of my feelings through my lens. I want that you, my public, may be able to see the black and white as I see. The buzz of the city, the metaphor of night life strolling the elusive still of melancholy.