Throughout his career, Daido Moriyama has produced a huge body of extremely influential photobooks, each demonstrating the variety and complexity of his work, from the blurred and grainy style of his early Provoke-era publications, to his more classic city- and object-based projects. Tales of Tono, appearing here for the first time in English, is one such book. First published in 1976, and taking its name from a collection of Japanese rural folk legends, Tales of Tono is a compact little volume composed of black-and-white photo diptychs and spreads that were shot in the countryside of northern Honshu, Japan. Faithfully reproducing the original edition, this book contains a text by the artist that offers the reader a typically honest and self-effacing account of Moriyama's thoughts about his practice. More than 30 years since its original Japanese publication, Tales of Tono gives a fantastic insight into one of the world's most original and provocative photographers. It is published to coincide with a survey of the artist's work at Tate Modern, London.
Daido Moriyama was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1938 and moved to Tokyo in 1961, where he continues to live and work. His photography is characterized by powerful, high contrast black-and-white pictures, largely concentrating on little-seen parts of the city and highlighting the effects of industrialization on modern life in Japan. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Cartier Foundation, Paris; and the National Museum of Art, Osaka.