Gaijin
Project info

"Gaijin" is a Japanese word which means "foreigner".

My name is David Takashi Favrod. I was born on the 2nd of July, 1982 in Kobe, of a Japanese mother and a Swiss father.

When I was 6 months old, my parents decided to come and live in Switzerland, more precisely in Vionnaz, a little village in lower Valais. My father had to travel a lot for work, so I was mainly brought up by my mother, who taught me her principles and her culture.

When I was 18, I asked for dual nationality at the Japanese embassy. They refused. They said Japanese nationality is only given to Japanese women who wish to obtain their husband's nationality.

I combined this feeling of rejection with my desire to prove that I am as Japanese as I am Swiss to create this work. "Gaijin" is a fictional recital, a tool in my quest for identity. In it, self-portraits imply the 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.

From memories of my journeys when I was small, to my mother's stories, to popular and traditional culture and finally from my grandparents' memories of war, the aim of this work is to create "my own Japan" in Switzerland.