In front of a sky-patterned curtain, a mom cradles her baby. Her fatigue remains in plain sight, even through the heavy make-up. The dad, standing alongside, looks down at the kid with a look of love and concern. It’s a photo not unlike one you might find in your own family album, and it’s precisely this familiarity that draws you in for a closer look. But scrutiny will reveal something uncanny: both the mom and dad appear to be the same person. This is the work of Rie Yamada, a Nagoya-born and Germany-based artist who intrudes family portraits, replacing every individual with an alternate version of herself.
这些角色和场景看起来如此熟悉，似乎就是寻常家庭相册里会出现的照片，但仔细一看，照片中的所有人却似乎都长成同一般模样。这就是日本艺术家 Rie Yamada 的作品——她把合家欢照片中的人物，都替换上了自己的脸……
The series, Familie Werden (meaning “Becoming Family” in German), is part one of a trilogy that examines the past, present, and future in the context of familial life.
To create the series, Rie obtained family photos from second-hand markets, auctions, and internet archives. Referencing these images, she found or reconstructed settings in the likeness of the original image, dressed like the images’ subjects, and mimicked their poses. “In front of the lens, wearing their clothes, hairstyle, and make-up, I often felt like I was really a part of their family,” Rie laughs.
Rie Yamada 出生于 1984 年的日本名古屋，她在德国长大，毕业于柏林魏森塞艺术学院。“Familie Werden”是她关于家庭主题创作的摄影系列三部曲中的第一部分，旨在聚焦家庭的过去、现在和未来。
By re-enacting these family photos from the past, she examines the weakening of family bonds in modern times. The project has even helped her glean new insight into her own family background and ancestry. “We have photo albums from my mother’s childhood and onwards, but unfortunately, we hardly have any of the older albums with family members that I have never met because our relatives had gotten rid of them,” she sighs. “This was one of the factors that inspired me to focus on the topic of families and family photos.”
“很奇怪的是，站在镜头前，穿着相似的衣服、妆容和发型，我觉得自己仿佛已经融为这些家庭的一份子了。”Rie Yamada 说道。她觉得，要了解这些家庭和过去的家庭照片，最好的方法就是真正“成为”这个家庭里的一员。在这整个过程里，也让她思考了自己和现实家庭的关系，了解到了原本不知道的家族历史。
Another source of inspiration came from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, or rather, a specific part of the recovery effort. Countless homes were destroyed by the disaster, and people’s personal belongings were washed away or waterlogged. Despite the amount of financial damage this caused, many people only wanted one thing: their family photo albums. And so, volunteers came together to find, clean, and return these lost family photos to their rightful owners. Rie found these efforts fascinating. It shined a light on just how much people prioritized their families and memories.
这个摄影三部曲系列的诞生还源自另一个契机。2011年，日本福岛大地震和海啸导致了当地无数人家妻离子散、流离失所，而千千万万的幸存者们，比起睹物思人的痛苦，更希望的却是能尽快找回自己的家庭大合照，这比他们在灾难中失去的任何东西都重要。于是，当地出现了很多志愿者发掘、清理、归还家庭照片的项目。Rie Yamada 觉得这非常有趣，也让她对家庭重新产生了思考。
The relationship between an individual and their own family has since been an ongoing topic of interest for Rie, and her roleplay of the different individuals that compose a family—with their own personalities, genders, and backgrounds—has allowed her to better grasp the nuances of the relationship dynamics of different families. It’s also a meditation on the changing photo-taking habits of modern times. Today, people most often turn their cameras on themselves, taking filtered selfies for their social media. “Photographs are proof of existence, especially now, because we live in a time where photography has been popularized and digitized,” she says. “We must think about the future of photography and the future of family photography, and because we live in a time of drastic social changes, we must also think about what makes a family a family.”
Rie Yamada 喜欢探究人与家庭之间的密切关系。无论是笑靥如画的青春少女，或是满头白发、儿孙满堂的老奶奶……身为传统血亲关系和现代个人主义两相交融的一代，Rie Yamada 近乎本能地深入到这种文化冲突中去，并将此借由镜头展现出来。
If Familie Werden is an examination of family through the lens of the past, then part two of the series, Familie Suchen (meaning “Looking for Family”), can be seen as an extension of similar thematics in the present time. In it, she looks to the matchmaking parties of contemporary Japan for inspiration. More reflective than critical, she dressed in the likeness of the men she encountered at these events—many of whom have hopes of meeting someone they can build a family with. The project examines the nature of modern relationships, self-identity, and asks viewers to reconsider what they truly value in a romantic partner.
For the project’s finale, which remains untitled, Rie will look to the future. “In art history and photography, family has been a frequently revisited subject,” she says. “Families are groups of people that embody the cultural and historical backdrop of the time; therefore, family photos exemplify the cultural and historical background and are a reflection of society at the time.”
Even after she completes the project, Rie plans on creating more art that builds on the theme of family. She says that it may just become her life’s work. “Whatever the topic, I would like to keep exploring the various aspects of society through my own experiences.”
如果说《Familie Werden》侧重于家庭的过往历史，那么在该系列的第二部分《Familie Suchen》中，Rie Yamada 把主题伸入了另一个层面：当下。为此，她寻找“租赁家庭”和“在线相亲”活动，这种租借活动旨在可为客户提供合适的演员，以在社交活动场合中扮演朋友、家人或同事的角色。从而去了解眼下日本年轻人对“租赁亲友”对需求，并在作品中探讨这种屡见不鲜的现象。
Rie Yamada 目前正在创作该系列的第三部分，这则将关于她自己和未来家庭的故事了。她说：“在艺术史和摄影史上，家庭的主题被反复研究。家庭是一个人的集合，体现了当时的文化和历史背景，因此，家庭照片体现了文化和历史背景，是当时社会的反映。”但如今，“家庭”是传统社会的基本构成单元的观念渐渐弱化，取而代之的是“个人”，越来越成为社会基本单位。