Friday fry Up: Kai Yokoyama — The day you were born, I wasn’t born yet

18.12.20

The day you were born, I wasn’t born yet. This is what I have to do now with my life. When this pandemic began in 2020, I lost control like 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. There were memories full of love and sadness.

This April, my father said, “This year’s cherry blossoms don’t look beautiful at all.” I couldn’t help feeling the death from the scattered cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms are drawn on the fighters, and the military song says, “Since we are flowers, we are doomed to fall. Let us fall magnificently for the country.” 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.

Kai Yokoyama is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. Starting out as an architecture student at Saitama University, he switched his major to photography and completed his studies at Tokyo College of Photography. He has traveled the world photographing refugees, children with disabilities, and victims of terrorism. In recent years, having lived abroad, he has been photographing foreigners living in Japan. His works have been published in The Washington Post and Marie Claire Italy. Yokoyama’s work has been awarded or shortlisted at KLPA(2019), PX3(2019, 2020), IPA (2020), Athens Photo Festival(2020), and he won first place in the LensCulture/Journeys series category(2020). In 2020, he participates in #ICPConcerned exhibition at ICP, Home Museum exhibition at LagosPhoto, and the online exhibition at PHmuseum. He was the recipient of Yumi Goto(RPS)’s a one-year mentorship program in Tokyo. He was also recently selected for Digital Portfolio Review with Alessia Glaviano by Photo Vogue Festival. He is a member of Native Agency and Diversify Photo.

To see more of Kai Yokoyama’s work visit — Website / Instagram.