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Headshots of Daido Moriyama and Paul Roth

2019 Hasselblad Award winner Daido Moriyama and RIC Director Paul Roth (Sohey Moriyama © Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation, © Laura Ramsey)

Paul Roth chairs 2019 Hasselblad Award; Daido Moriyama announced as winner


Mar. 8, 2019

The Hasselblad Foundation announced today that Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama is the recipient of the 2019 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, considered to be the most prestigious photography prize in the world. 

Each year, a committee of internationally prominent experts and scholars in photography is selected to nominate candidates for the Hasselblad Award. For this year’s award, RIC Director Paul Roth served as Chair, working with jury members Ann-Christin Bertrand (Curator, C/O Berlin Foundation, Berlin), Susanna Brown (Curator, Photographs, Victoria & Albert Museum, London), Kristen Lubben (Executive Director, Magnum Foundation, New York) and Thyago Noguiera (Curator, Instituto Moreira Salles, São Paulo).

Daido Moriyama was born in Osaka, Japan in 1938. After assisting Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe, Moriyama began to work independently in 1964. His work, often described as raw and troubled, gave birth to a new street photography practice in which the artist roams the street, confronting and being confronted by public spaces.

“An iconic figure of Japanese photography, revered worldwide for his radical aesthetic, Daido Moriyama is surely one of the most significant and influential photographers in history,” says Paul Roth. “For a whole generation of viewers, the chaotic restlessness and rough beauty of his classic images convey a universal urban psychology, a profound empathy for the alienation and dislocation common to all post-industrial cities. Daido Moriyama’s images seem envisioned rather than recorded – scenes from the modern, global metropolis of our collective imagination.”

In 1974, the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented Moriyama’s work as part of the first major Western exhibition focused on Japanese photography. His photographs have since been showcased in many major exhibitions: at Tate Modern in London (William Klein + Daido Moriyama, 2012); at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Stray Dog, 1999); at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (Hunter, 1999); at the National Art Museum in Osaka (On the Road, 2011); at Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris (2003 & 2016); and at the Rencontres d’Arles (Labyrinth + Monochrome, 2013).

Moriyama has credited Eugène Atget, Jack Kerouac, William Klein, Nicéphore Niépce, Shomei Tomatsu, Andy Warhol, Weegee, and Garry Winogrand for inspiring his work and style.

The award-winner receives SEK 1,000,000 (approx. USD 110,000). The award ceremony will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden on October 13, 2019. A symposium will be held on October 14, followed by the opening of an exhibition of Moriyama’s work at the Hasselblad Center, and the release of a new book about the artist, published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.

Past winners include Oscar Muñoz, Rineke Dijkstra, Susan Meiselas, Nan Goldin, Richard Avedon, Sebastião Salgado, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. 

Read the full media release on the Hasselblad Foundation’s website.