Monday, 2 November 2009
The Swiss-Japanese photographer David Favrod won the first prize of the Viewbook PhotoStory contest with his conceptual photographic narrative titled "Gaijin".
“Gaijin”, as David explains is the Japanese word for “foreigner” and in his series he deals with his questions surrounding his mixed ethnic identity.
David Takashi Favrod is half Japanese. He was born in Kobe (Japan) to a Japanese mother and a Swiss father. When he was very young his family moved to Switzerland where he grew up.
When he talks about his cultural experience and sense of identity he says that “For a Swiss person, I’m Japanese and for a Japanese person, I’m Swiss or rather a gaijin.”
In response to his frustration about his confused sense of belonging, David created a narrative, where he could address his split cultural experience and represent himself belonging to both cultures. Whether painted as a Kabuki performer, or a tourist standing next to his Japanese relatives set against the breathtaking view of the Swiss Alps, David finds a way of placing both Japanese and Swiss visual cultural references into one image.
As much as “Gaijin” is a light and cheerful piece, it is equally highly nostalgic and reflective and takes its viewer on a very personal journey to David Takashi Favrod’s Swiss-Japan.
To find out more and view the photographic series visit: