Memories: David Favrod

David Takashi Favrod born in Kobe, Japan 1982 from a Japanese mother and a Swiss father.  Lives and works in Switzerland and Spain.

Favrod created his photographic work using memories of his journeys as a child, his mother’s stories and grandparents war narratives:

“I borrowed their memories.  I use their stories as source of inspiration for my own testimony” – David Favrod.

Favrod created his series “Gaijin”, a Japanese word meaning “The Foreigner” after the Japanese embassy refused to give him a double nationality as its only given to Japanese women who wish to obtain their husband’s nationality.

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“Hikari” is another of Favrod’s series created again from memory and specially stories of war that his grandparents told him about once.

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“As if my grandparents gave me their memories as a whisper through the air before allowing it to disappear from their minds” – David Favrod.

Such photographic work inspires me, it makes you want to know more about the photograph, it gives you the pleasure of being lost.  There is a coded message in every single photograph.  Each one of them have meanings and contexts to them.

Favrod also presented sound in his work as a lot of his borrowed memories were sounds such as the sounds of explosions, people crying, sounds of planes etc. in WWII.  To present sound; he used onomatopoeia that were found in manga/comic and he painted them on his prints such as his work (BAOUMMM) from the series “Hikari”.


BAOUMMM, 2013 – ©David Favrod

“A lot of the memories of my grandparents during WWII were sounds . During the bombings they went to underground shelters. It was dark. The memories they remain from their events are the sound of explosions, the sound of planes, people crying, … So, my question was : How can I introduce sound in my picture? It’s why I decided to use onomatopoeias (that were found in manga/comic) and to paint them on the prints”. – David Favrod

It was interesting to read Favrod’s process in how he comes up with an individual imagery.  I tried to list them down here as points:

  1. Thinks about what he wants to show and talk about.
  2. Writes down the general idea.
  3. Constructs his series by drawing on a sketchbook and that allows him to balance the series from the different types of photographs such as landscapes, portraits etc.
  4. Thinks about the best solution to introduce the story behind the image.
  5. Thinks about how the images work together in the series.

Favrod’s work is fascinating.  It contains multiple levels of meaning and he tells his stories with photographs in a very captivating way using mixed media such as painting, drawing, video etc.  His work pushes boundaries and inspires for new ideas.


Bibliography / References:

Burn Magazine (2013). David Favrod GAIJIN [online]. Burn.  Available from: [Accessed 26 February, 2017].

Clemency Newman. Looking Back and Forward Interviews #6: David Favrod [online]. GUP Magazine.  Available from: [Accessed 26 February, 2017].

David Favrod. David Favrod Homepage [online]. Available from: [Accessed 26 February, 2017].

Sharon Boothroyd (2014).  David Favrod [online]. Photoparley. Available from: [Accessed 26 February, 2017].



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