PHOTOGRAPHY: Ethnic Ambiguity in David Favrod’s “Gaijin”

David Favrod GAIJIN 01 PHOTOGRAPHY: Ethnic Ambiguity in David Favrods Gaijin

After being refused dual-citizenship to Japan and Switzerland, David Favrod began a self-reflective photographic series questioning identity, culture, and place called, “Gaijin,” or in English, “alien.” Each image— staged in Switzerland, but comprised of “Japanese” scenes— expresses not only his childhood spent in Europe under his Japanese mother’s influence, but an overall blurring of the line that separates these two vastly different countries. An ambiguous snowcapped mountain, an overweight white man posing as a sumo wrestler, Favrod armored like a samurai in cardboard– they all cast a similar affect. And from this push and pull between one world and another— this dizzying ambiguity— rises frustrating questions: Where does Favrod really belong? Does it matter? Why must there be a divide? But why does it feel eerily “off” to be two things at once? Or is that eeriness actually newfound beauty?

David Favrod GAIJIN 02 PHOTOGRAPHY: Ethnic Ambiguity in David Favrods Gaijin

David Favrod GAIJIN 03 PHOTOGRAPHY: Ethnic Ambiguity in David Favrods Gaijin

David Favrod GAIJIN 04 PHOTOGRAPHY: Ethnic Ambiguity in David Favrods Gaijin

David Favrod GAIJIN 05 PHOTOGRAPHY: Ethnic Ambiguity in David Favrods Gaijin

David Favrod GAIJIN 06 PHOTOGRAPHY: Ethnic Ambiguity in David Favrods Gaijin

By Michael Porwoll.

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