LOVESODY by Motoyuki Daifu is an intimate portrait of the photographer’s relationship with a single young mother and her two children. Suffused with joy and melancholy, the images capture all the intimacies of young love burning fast and bright. In Daifu’s introduction, he announces that their ‘lovesody’ (a portmanteau of love and rhapsody) lasted for six months—a statement that while endearing, hints also at a kind of sadness. All the while, Daifu’s relationship with his subject remains in constant flux—from father figure, to lover, and even to the role of child.
Daifu’s images in all their frenetic quality allow the viewer to dive right in to the picture—to see and almost feel, touch, smell and hear. Firing on all senses, Daifu offers a multi-layered dialogue with the viewer, where one can almost taste the milk desired by the needy newborn, see the snot and grime, and taste the molten butter on thick cut toast. Added to this is Daifu’s ambigious position, whereby his gaze repeatedly shifts from that of amorous admirer, to that of a protective father, and finally to the role of a child himself. His image of a swollen breast amounts to both the lover’s gaze on the object of his desire, and also that of a child demanding his sustenance.
LOVESODY in its structure can clearly be seen as part of a photo dairy tradition within Japanese photography (Nobuyoshi Araki’s Sentimental Journey as an example).It is a book containing a clear timeframe and narrative, but in content, Daifu’s work remains apart from many of his contemporaries.In his previous series’, Daifu focused on his own family and the idiosyncrasies within. Chaos and imbalance reign, and we are often shown an intimate erosion of realities—the order, structure, and stoicism often associated with contemporary Japan are wholly absent, all the while marking Daifu as a more accurate recorder of a new, and uncertain time, a time when generations are shifting and values change on a daily basis. Added to this, in a country with a staggering age imbalance and birth rates at a critical low, LOVESODY is a pure anomaly.
LOVESODY is Motoyuki Daifu’s first publication, and coincides with a solo exhibition of the same name at Lombard Freid Projects in New York City. Daifu was previously featured in ‘Minor Cropping may Occur.’ a group photographic exhibition in early 2011. Reviewed favourably by several notable publications, Daifu’s work within the exhibition was highlighted by The New York Times and The New Yorker.
100 signed and numbered (out of a total run of 300)