Opening Thursday at Lombard Freid Projects, Tokyo-based photographer Motoyuki Daifu’s first solo show with the New York gallery takes a poignant, unflinching look at his brief relationship with a young, pregnant single mother and her child. A departure from the comfort and familiarity of his 2009 Family series, Lovesody (a portmanteau of love and rhapsody) lets viewers in on Daifu’s complex, occasionally confounding coming of age experience, equal parts domestic bliss and turbid sentiment.
“At once, he is the amorous admirer grasping his lover’s face in playful lust, the protective father, and also the progeny who demands attention and satisfaction,” says curator Nick Haymes. “In many of the moments captured, the viewer can feel the chaos and uncertainty of young love, and that profound emotion mixed with the circumstances of impending childbirth only serves to heighten the inherent energies.”
The works also provide a fascinating, somewhat voyeuristic glimpse into typically guarded Japanese home life. “Daifu’s work is certainly very different from most received ideas about contemporary Japanese photography,” says Haymes. “It is divorced from the forced view of a subordinate middle class life, delving into the reality of a not-quite-perfect, and perhaps more realistic existence.”
A limited-edition compendium of the images, published by Little Big Man, will be on sale at the gallery, but catch an early glimpse of the book tonight, when Daifu will be signing copies of Lovesody at Dashwood Books from 6 to 8pm.