Hikari is a japanese word meaning «the light»
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. As my father had to travel for his work a lot, I was mainly brought up by my mother who taught me her principles and her culture.
When I was 18, I asked for double nationality at the Japanese embassy, but they refused, because it is only given to Japanese women who wish to obtain their husband’s nationality.
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.
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 …
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.
Somehow, I would say that I borrowed their memories. I use their stories as source of inspiration for my own testimony.


About the photographer
David Favrod (b1982) reflects on his dual Swiss-Japanese heritage by re-enacting the traumatic experiences his Japanese grandparents faced during the final bombings of WW2 in the Japanese city of Kobe – a traumatic event which David knows only from stories but one that subconsciously shaped the fabric of the family and his own upbringing. The resulting images illustrate the memory of the events as a basis of self-discovery, identity and belonging. They are beautifully crafted tableaus of reflective images.
Although meticulously planned and executed, the images do not re-enact the scenes of war, but rather they reflect and interpret the effect of events handed down through generations. In his masterly constructed images David utilises a mix of visual techniques, pushing the borders of photography, opening it up to new possibilities including the use of sound and symbolism to enhance the narrative, and intentionally blurring reality, fiction and reflection in the process.
Hikari has received an abundance of international acclaim, including awards from LensCulture, C/O Talents and Foam and last year a catalogue was published by Kehrer Verlag.
fLIP spoke to David about the motivation behind his work, its reception, his unique technique and creative process, and his future plans.
Website: www.davidfavrod.com
Mishiko was the sister of my grandfather. She fell ill during the war, doctors diagnosed poor hydration. In Japan, watermelon is a very popular fruit and holds much water. So her parents gave it to her regularly. But the diagnosis was wrong; it was a salt deficiency and she died shortly after.




On June 18, 1945, 25 B-29 laid naval mines in waters near Kobe.



In May 1942, to preserve the Himeji castle, the dungeon was camouflaged. In December 1943, the towers and walls followed.



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.








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