Chloé Jafé

I give you my life


In 2013, Chloé Jafé moved to Tokyo with the ambition of meeting the women of the Yakuza.

But no one enters this mafia, one of the most legendary in the world, without being invited. After spending a year perfecting her Japanese, immersing herself in the codes of a culture miles apart from her own, having been a hostess in a bar and combing the city’s red light districts, the lock finally broke, thanks to a lucky encounter and her sheer temerity.


Inducted by a boss, she was able to approach these untouchable clans, their official rituals and gatherings, the taboos and tattooed stories hidden away beneath their kimonos, and through them, their wives, daughters and mistresses.

These are the women lurking in the shadows of the men to whom they have dedicated their existence, their skin marked by this level of dedication which automatically excludes them from society.

The ‘gift of one’s life’, or inochi azukemasu in Japanese, constitutes the first part of her trilogy.



Chloé Jafé (Lyon, 1984), represented by Akio Nagasawa gallery.

She is an artist and a photographer trained at the École de Condé in Lyon and at the UAL Central Saint Martins School in London.
She has been able to create a unique personal voice in the world of documentary photography.

Those close to her say bluntly that she photographs with her gut, using the camera as a key to understanding the strange and the foreign. Her obsession and intuition has enabled her to access secret worlds. Her ability to connect to her subjects has meant her work really is exceptionally personal – the world through Chloe Jafe’s eyes.

She worked and immersed herself in Japan and Japanese culture from 2013-2019 creating a trilogy of work.
The images are raw, black and white, tender and ferocious. She reveals an unprecedented vision of hidden parts of Japanese society. Her trilogy, composed of the chapters “I give you my life”, “Okinawa mon amour” and “Osaka Ben”, highlights the little-known and subversive sides of an archipelago where modesty is a paramount.

Critically acclaimed, her work on the women of Yakuza was rewarded by the Talent award in 2017 and exhibited at the French National Library.
Attracted by sensitive and difficult subjects, often marginal, Chloé Jafé does not hesitate in her practice to push the limits of the photographic medium by
working directly on prints, in acrylic and brush. Each of her series has resulted in a limited edition book, bound and handcrafted by the artist.


H 11

Chiostri di San Pietro | Laboratorio Aperto



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