photography by JÖRGEN AXELVALL

The Family of the Future

Written by Mari Florer

“The Family of the Future”

The Tokyo based contemporary photographer Eiki Mori started to explore the themes: same-sex marriage, family and sexuality as a teenager; portraying his mother, lover and friends using his father’s camera. Today, he still does and he himself acts in front of the camera in diverse family situations. In Eiki Mori’s new Photobook “Family Regained”, launched in December, Mori, with the history of oppression of homosexuals in his mind, presents the gay family as it should have been.

Odalïsque had a chance to speak with EIKI MORI during his latest solo exhibition entitled Family Regained at Ken Nakahashi Gallery.

What is your exhibition “Family Regained” about?
Family Regained is a portrait series, in which I shoot myself with my friends, acquainted lovers and young couples of more than 40 of those people in several forms of Family, including being alone. I take the pictures at their place and yard, where they are live, using the self-timer function.
The title is borrowed from the epic, Paradise Regained by English poet John Milton. Back in time when it was a crime for homosexuals to just being in love, there were those who loved with the risk of their life. Lovers who were unaccepted of even imagining of marrying or having children. I photographed imagining The Family of the Future that should have been theirs.

What does the word “family” means to you?
Someone you feel infinite love for, or in a relationship with, this is “family” for me.

What is your best photo memory you ever have experienced in your life so far?
Ten years ago, when I met my mother in Tokyo after a long time of each other’s absence, we went to the beach. At that time, my mother was very young and beautiful, but at the same time I felt afraid my mother would disappear if I captured her in the perfect form of beauty. So, I photographed her in the shining sunlight at the beach with a disposable camera which I could not hope for quality. The pictures were insufficiently over or under-exposed, but those are still my most precious pictures, filled with my love for her.

Is there an artist you really really like?
Hervé Guibert, It might be laughable, as it is my selfish delusion. I somehow feel myself as a reincarnation of him, who died of AIDS at the age of 36. I may not have his talent, but I feel I should undertake what he couldn’t finish, and continue writing and shooting.

What do you long for in 2018? Is there any undone photo project you want to fulfill?
A new performance work with the theme of a fictitious poet, with moving images and textual work.