Daido Moriyama’s body of work leans so heavily towards black and white photography that to see a gallery filled with his images of Shinjuku in extreme colour is nothing short of startling. The images fill the windowed hall of the Fondation Cartier in Paris, where they have been arranged in small groups like hyper-saturated visual haikus. How a wire fence, a girl’s face and an overturned erotic book relate to each other is not the point; what might be is how Moriyama broadcasts a sense of over-stimulation.
Colour work is not uncharted territory for the Japanese photographer; he toyed around with it in the 1970s and by the early 2000s, with the arrival of the digital camera, he would shoot in colour and convert the images to black and white for exhibitions. This was still the case when the Fondation Cartier invited him to present a solo show in 2003. Last year, general director Hervé Chandès felt the artist would benefit from exposing this unfamiliar facet of his work in a wider way.