Lombard Freid Projects is pleased to present Lovsody, Motoyuki Daifu’s first solo show with the gallery. The young Japanese photographer, based in Tokyo, uses photography to document the highly personal chaos of domestic life with his family and loved ones. Motoyuki’s portraits of people, rooms and objects are filled with energy and color, all of which intermix to generate a natural narrative that feel simultaneously honest and unlikely. Motoyuki’s subjects are unfazed by the continuous presence of his camera, offering up their most intimate moments for documentation and presentation to the outside world.
Lombard Freid premiered Motoyuki’s work in the US as part of last year’s critically acclaimed group show Minor Cropping May Occur. His 2009 Family series, made of lovingly shot portraits of Motoyuki’s cramped and hectic life in the Tokyo apartment with his parents and five siblings, was highlighted in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Review and ID Online. Lovesody is an intimate follow up that looks to the more romantic and mournful side of personal relationships.
I met her when she was only twenty years old.
She already had a two-year-old boy and was pregnant again.
I fell in love with her at first sight.
A girl - and a mother.
She had two characters in herself.
I had never met a girl like her- a girl full of motherly love.
This is our six month lovesody.
- Motoyuki Daifu
Lovesody (a portmanteau of love and rhapsody) documents Motoyuki’s brief and potent relationship with a single young mother and her two children. In this series, Motoyuki steps away from the comfort of his family, and presents his own volatile coming of age tale. The resulting narrative is suffused with joy and melancholy, capturing all the intimacies of young love. The frenetic quality seen in his previous work continues to create a fully tactile experience where nothing is concealed; the children’s snot and grime and their mothers’ exhaustion carry the viewer though Motoyuki’s reality where chaos and imbalance reign. The young girl and her small children are portrayed through a loving lens while the viewer looks on aware that the affair ended after only six months. The brevity of the relationship adds to the intimacy of the series with the narrative exposing a series of kinetic emotions that burnt out faster then they could be realized.
Following the photo diary tradition within Japanese photography, a clear timeframe and narrative is presented even as Motoyuki’s gaze repeatedly shifts from amorous admirer, to protective father, and to the child within himself. The order, structure, and stoicism often associated with contemporary Japan are absent, marking Motoyuki as an accurate recorder of a new, uncertain time where generations are shifting and values changing on a daily basis. Added to this, in a country with a staggering age imbalance and birth rates at a critical low, Motoyuki’s Lovesody is a pure anomaly.
The exhibition coincides with the release of a limited edition publication of the same name. Published by Little Big Man, 300 copies of Lovesody, along with 10 special editions with a hand-numbered photographic print, will be released on January 25th.