KAI YOKOYAMA

“This is what I have to do now with my life. When this pandemic began in 2020, I lost control like many people around the world. I talked with my parents more than ever and shared almost all my time with them. I searched for photos of my family in the past. I walked where my late grandparents lived and kept taking pictures. Then I tried to connect the present and the past. It was a kind of spatiotemporal movement as if I went back to where my soul had been.”

Kai Yokoyama (b. Japan, 1975) started as an architecture student at Saitama University and then switched to photography and completed his studies at Tokyo College of Photography. He has travelled the world photographing refugees, children with disabilities, and victims of terrorism. In recent years, he has been photographing foreigners living in Japan. His works have been published in many important media like the Washington Post, Foam Magazine and Marie Claire.

From Tokyo, Kai gives us the opportunity to appreciate his project The day you were born, I wasn’t born yet, awarded and showcased in many other festivals and publications around the globe. He makes us wonder by attempting to overlap time and place: “My grandfather went to the Pacific War. He came back and gave birth to the daughter who gave birth to me. I think it’s a miracle. There are countless reasons why I wasn’t born here.”