Born to a Japanese mother and a Swiss father, David Favrod is a young, gifted photographer whose work explores his sense of dual nationality and identity through staged dramatic scenes and lyrical, nostalgic landscapes and still life tableaux.
Whilst still a young boy, Favrod's family left Japan for a small village in Lowers Valais in Switzerland, where, he explains: "my father had to travel for his work a lot, so I was brought up by my mother who taught me her principles and her culture." With his fascinating series 'Gaijin' (meaning foreigner in Japanese) he set about creating "my own Japan in Switzerland, from memories of my journeys when I was small, my mother's stories...and my grand parents' war narratives." The portraits range from haunting, beautifully lit set-ups with characters in traditional Kabuki make-up to more startling and unexpected scenarios, like a masked naked man emerging from a lake or a noosed man staring from a bath. Favrod says these portraits are "a tool for my quest for identity, where self-portraits imply an intimate and solitary relationship that I have with myself." The colour palette in his photographs is usually a mix of warm Autumnal colours - greens, browns and blues with hits of red, and when seen with the still life work and the landscapes, the whole series has real power and poignancy.
For someone so young - he graduated from ECAL this year - Favrod already has a mature and distinctive style and we'll be interested to see how his career and vision evolves. Below are examples from the 'Gaijin' series.
All images © David Favrod