Quest for identity

Artist creates his own Japan in Switzerland


Self portrait as an octopus

American B29 raid on Kobe city on June 18, 1945

For Sadako. The 12-year-old Sadako Sasaki died of leukemia caused by the Hiroshima bomb.

The departure



Family portrait

Catogne vs Himeji

A magnificent flower field

Self portrait as samurai



Self portrait




My name is David "Takashi" Favrod. I was born on July 2, 1982, in Kobe, Japan, to a Japanese mother and a Swiss father. When I was six months old, my parents decided to come and live in Vionnaz, a small village in the lower Valais.

As my father had to travel a lot for his work, I was mainly brought up by my mother who taught me her principles and her culture.

For the Swiss, I am Japanese, and for the Japanese, I am Swiss or rather a 'gaijin'.

When I was 18, I asked for dual nationality at the Japanese embassy, but they refused, because it is only given to Japanese women who wish to obtain their husband’s nationality.

It is from this feeling of rejection and also from a desire to prove that I am as Japanese as I am Swiss that this work was created.

“Gaijin” is a fictional narrative, a tool for my quest for identity, where self-portraits imply an intimate and solitary relationship that I have with myself. The mirror image is frozen in a figurative alter ego that serves as an anchor point.

The aim of this work is to create “my own Japan”, in Switzerland, from memories of my journeys when I was small, my mother’s stories, popular and traditional culture and my grandparents war narratives.

(All images and text by David Favrod)

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