[Q] This work represents my compulsion to build and shape my own memory. To reconstitute some facts I haven’t experienced myself, but have unconsciously influenced me while growing up.
[Q] My grandparents witnessed the war; survivors who finally passed away and whose memories will soon be a part of history. Only once did we speak about their experiences during the war. They told me how illness can take away your sisters; the shame; the relief after the war; and the watermelons …
[Q] But after that night, we never talked about it again. As if my grandparents gave me their memories as a whisper through the air before allowing it to disappear from their minds.
[Q] Somehow, I would say that I borrowed their memories. I use their stories as source of inspiration for my own testimony.
In his series Hikari, David Favrod visits an important time in Japanese history, and its impact on him and his family, through memories.
The result is a poignant and compelling narrative positioned somewhere between the personal and the universal.
Favrod’s use of high impact and visceral imagery set alongside an experimental presentation style succeeds in pulling the viewer towards it whilst simultaneously retaining a sense of mystery.
When I want to start a new project I think about what I want to show and what I want to speak about. Before taking any picture I write the general idea and I start to draw the images on my sketchbook.
That allows me to construct the series and to see if there are too many landscapes, enough portrait or still life and to have a balance in the series from these different type of photographs.
For each image I think about how I can produce it. I try to find the best solution to speak about the story behind each images.
And for sure I think about the series and how the images can work together. It’s a quite long process but I like to work like this.
The girl with the watermelon is Mishiko, she was the sister of my grandfather. She fell ill during the second war, doctors diagnosed poor hydration. In Japan, watermelon is a very popular fruit and holds much water. So his parents gave it to her regularly. But the diagnosis was wrong; it was a salt deficiency and she died shortly after.
One of my few memories of my travels in Japan when I was young are the drawings of octopus. I loved takoyaki and in front of the takoyaki stand there were always octopus drawn like that. You see the resemblance?
And the bird shadow made from hands is le bunker. In my building in Vionnaz there is a anti-nuclear bunker. It’s an obligation in Switzerland that every house or building needs to construct is own anti-nuclear bunker. It’s the law. And if you don’t want you need to pay.
A few weeks after the explosion, scientists saw that the flash of the bomb had discolored the walls that were still standing. The bomb had left marks corresponding to the projections of objects, bodies and street furniture, like a photographic projection. The heat due to heat radiation made visible shadows on the ground. Shadows could be a man who stood at the time of the tragedy and had somehow ‘protected’ the wall from the bomb. It was the same with a ladder, a valve or pylons of a bridge.