Untitled (Family Project)
Seven family members and a cat all squeezed into the small five-room house, where Motoyuki Daifu grew up in Yokohama. This young photographer’s Family Project series documents the chaos of his family’s home life. Viewers of Daifu’s color photographs peer into the cramped, cluttered, and intimate world of their living quarters, what would normally be hidden from outsiders. The setting of dirty dinner plates and empty take-out food containers becomes an elegant still life series inhabited by what appear to be dozing inebriants. The artist turns what might initially appear as an offensive lifestyle into a light-hearted and stunning look at domestic life in contemporary Japan. The artist has described the private world by saying, “My mother sleeps every day. My dad does chores. My brothers fight. There are trash bags all over the place. Half-eaten dinners, cat poop, mountains of clothes: this is my lovable daily life, and a loveable Japan.”
Motoyuki Daifu is a representative of the youngest generation of Japanese photographers, who like the more senior Nobuyoshi Araki, use the snapshot as a way to represent his life. Daifu’s photographs appear to be full of humor, as he uses the clutter to his advantage, packing as much color as he can into each frame. The artist started to take photography seriously when he was nineteen. At that time, he enrolled in art school to study the subject, and gravitated toward photographing those things that were around his daily experience. Recently he has become interested in and influenced by contemporary art rather than straightforward photography. He would prefer to avoid simply being identified as a photographer, and intends to work across a range of media, with photography as his base.