As the generation passes things change and everything turns to be different than it is. Human nature evolves in many ways. the way we dress, think, perceive, things that we like.
No one could be documented better than this photogra[pher. Based in Tokyo Bruce Osborn. since 1980, has dedicated nearly 40 years to his long-term project Oyako. This portrait series shares photographs of different sets of parents and children throughout the years to examine how they grow and develop together. It’s a touching look at the evolving relationship between family members and a project that has changed Osborn’s life.
He started this project when Osborn was on assignment for a magazine. He’d been asked to photograph punk musicians when he decided that it would be interesting to see them next to their parents. Exited by the results he saw, he decided to dove into his new project as a way to elaborate in the context of images the generational differences and to explore the relationships between Japanese parents and their children.
It was interesting to see the progress of the process that binds families across all cultures, making Oyako a universal project that resonates well beyond Japan. It’s incredible to see the transformation of Osborn’s models throughout the years, as children turn into adults and parents move from young professionals to retirees.
The captivating transformations are only visible thanks to Osborn’s dedication to the project. To learn more about the evolution of Oyako, read on for My Modern Met’s exclusive interview. And if you’re interested in seeing even more images, check out Osborn’s book, Oyako: An Ode to Parents and Childre
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In one of his interviews Bruce stated that; the first time I photograph the parent and child, I feel an immediate connection, which grows deeper the more we get to know each other. When I take their photographs a second, third, or fourth time, the lines between photographer and subject become blurred. Our common goal is to document how they are changing along with the things that will never change between them.
“I have photographed over 8,000 parents and children and there is no end in sight. In 2003, my wife and I decided to take this project one step further and make a day to celebrate the parent-child bond. Every year on the fourth Sunday of July, we invite 100 families to the studio and I take their photos in an all-day photo session. There are now many photographers in Japan who agree with our social action and have started doing their own OYAKO Day sessions. Our dream is to one day see OYAKO Day become as recognized as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day”