Our friends at the Aperture Foundation have just announced the winner of the third annual Aperture Portfolio Prize competition: photographer David Favrod. Born in Japan (to a Japanese mother and a Swiss father) and raised in Switzerland, 28-year-old Favrod grapples with the culture of his birthplace in “Gaijin,” a bold, playful, and spooky search for meaning and identity amidst Japanese stereotypes that range from bathtub koi and sumo wrestlers to majestic mountains and Godzilla. “The aim of this work is to create ‘my own Japan,’ in Switzerland, from memories of my journeys when I was small, my mother’s stories, popular and traditional culture, and my grandparents’ war narratives,” wrote Favrod in a statement.
A jury led by Aperture publisher Lesley A. Martin also sifted through the more than 900 Portfolio Prize submissions to select four runners-up: Kathryn Parker Almanas, Anne Golaz, Julian Röder, and Jordan Tate. Favrod receives $5,000 and an exhibition at Aperture Foundation, while all five photographers will have their portfolios featured on the organization’s website for the next year or so. Inaugurated in 2008 to replace the foundation’s biannual portfolio reviews, the international competition was created to “identify trends in contemporary photography and specific artists whom we can help by bringing their work to a wider audience.”