Wed 30 Mar 2022 to Sun 12 Jun 2022
5-7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004 Motoyuki Daifu: Lovesody
Wed-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm
Artist: Motoyuki Daifu
click for Press Release in French
The MEP presents the first institutional exhibition in Europe of the young Japanese artist Motoyuki Daifu. Organized in conjunction with the show Love Songs, this exhibition presents the series "Lovesody" (2008), an intimate portrait of a whirlwind relationship that he calls his "rhapsody of love".
In 2008, Motoyuki Daifu was 23 years old and fell in love at first sight with a single mother of a two-year-old boy, pregnant with her second child. Their relationship became the subject of a series of colour photographs full of joy and tenderness but also tinged with melancholy, coining the term Lovesody, a portmanteau combining the words "love" and "rhapsody", which for him encapsulated this intense and unexpected story.
Through these candid snapshots, the photographer paints a moving and unvarnished portrait of their daily lives. Citing Juergen Teller's raw and seemingly spontaneous images as an influence, Daifu reveals their small, chaotic flat in intimate, unstaged photographs. Cluttered with toys, colored plastic objects, dirty dishes - piles of crumpled clothes, overflowing bin bags, Hello Kitty baby items, plates of half-eaten toast - this cramped space, with its joyful disorder, seems a world away from our preconceived notions of the structured, minimalist Japanese home we might think of in relation to Marie Kondo, the Japanese guru of domestic tidying.
Their relationship would last only six months, through the end of her pregnancy and the first weeks of the new- born’s life. The fleeting nature of their love, combined with the young woman’s vulnerability as the birth of her second child approaches, makes the images even more poignant, and reveals Motoyuki Daifu as the sensitive witness to a period filled with both happiness and uncertainty. Lovesody makes it possible for the viewer to feel the artist's ambiguous position; his gaze shifts from a fervent lover to a complicit friend, a protective father, even a child seeking his mother's attention. All the while, he invites us to discover beauty and grace in life’s inevitable disorder.
Born in Tokyo in 1985, Motoyuki Daifu lives and works in Kanagawa. He graduated from Tokyo Visual Arts College in 2007. At the age of 19, while still a student, he decided to devote himself to photography, documenting his family of seven people sharing a small, chaotic flat, in intensely personal, unstaged photographs. Since then, his daily life has become a continual source of inspiration for his work.
In 2014, Daifu was one of the finalists for the prestigious Prix Pictet and for the Nissan Art Award in 2017.
Numerous books have been published on his work, including Lovesody (Little Big Man Books, 2012) and Project Family (Dashwood Books, 2013); his photographs are also reproduced in Hypermarché-novembre (The Gould Collection, 2018) which juxtaposes his images with poems by the French writer Michel Houellebecq.
The artist lives in Kanagawa, Japan.
He is represented by Misako & Rosen Gallery, Tokyo.