David Favrod


David Favrod

The photo research 'Gaijin' and the photography book 'Omoide Poroporo' (diploma work)


Jury report

The Stranger
Gai­jin is a Japan­ese word mean­ing 'stranger' or 'out­sider'. It is also the title of David Favrod's grad­u­a­tion piece, for which he won a Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Award. David Favrod has a Japan­ese mother and a Swiss fa­ther, and has spent most of his life in Switzer­land.

In his at­mos­pheric im­ages, David Favrod ex­plores ques­tions of his own iden­tity and be­long­ing, draw­ing upon child­hood mem­o­ries and an­ces­tral sto­ries as well as pop­u­lar and tra­di­tional Japan­ese cul­ture. He cap­tures these as­pects lyri­cally and at times iron­i­cally in clev­erly com­posed pho­tographs that mir­ror a world full of ref­er­ences to clichés and Japan­ese con­no­ta­tions.

The vi­sual uni­verse of Favrod's pho­tographs pre­sents a pro­found and com­pelling re­flec­tion on his Japan­ese iden­tity and the way he re­lates to Japan. All the im­ages in the 22-part se­ries were cre­ated in Switzer­land. For Gai­jin, this meant that the pho­tog­ra­pher had to use masks or cos­tumes for his com­po­si­tion. Specif­i­cally, it meant that the Samu­rai war­rior (Favrod him­self) had to make do with ar­mour made of card­board. In some of the pic­tures, Favrod uses no such props: in his painterly land­scapes, for in­stance, the sup­pos­edly Japan­ese as­pect is art­fully evoked by means of clev­erly cho­sen moods and mo­tifs.

With Gai­jin, David Favrod has cre­ated his very own Japan in Switzer­land. In each pic­ture, the viewer finds a hy­brid of both coun­tries. We are ir­re­sistibly drawn into Favrod's world of al­lu­sion and wit. As­ton­ished and amused in turn, we find our­selves mulling the ques­tion of our own iden­tity.
Anna Niederhäuser


David Favrod
Born in


also in