In his photobook “Holy Onion”, Japanese photographer Motoyuki Daifu concentrates on his mother, photographed while she peels an onion in the family’s kitchen (both mother and kitchen are familiar to us from Daifu’s previous works portraying his family’s life).
In 35 continuous photographs, Daifu captures his mother peeling onions, frame by frame. The photographs are taken only moments apart, as Daifu’s mother cuts into the onion in her hand, scratches her nose, look at the camera, back at the onion, wipe her eyes. The book’s accordion design, with some images separated by white pages, others grouped together, adds to the continuous nature of the sequence. As the images progress, small details in the setting change, and by the end of the book, the plate with onion peels is again empty, the process ready to start all over again. With “Holy Onion”, Daifu pays close attention to the intricacies of mundane tasks and accentuates the beauty within (almost automatic) everyday routines.
The book also features an essay by Chris Fujiwara (in English).