The student artists Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi of Musashino Art University in Japan recently unveiled a gorgeous series of portraits of X-Ray and CT images of embracing couples. One might expect images devoid of flesh, readable facial expressions, and color to read as clinical and sterile, but the photographs are strikingly human: “X-ray images usually show the finite nature of our bodies composed only of matter. But these couples’ portraits reveal a pulse that isn’t normally seen,” the artists explain.
And the images do convey a powerful level of intimacy. The two individuals, positioned side by side, become hard to differentiate as male or female, young or old; the transparency of particular muscles and bones cause the two figures to fuse in unexpected and haunting ways.
They also succeed in conveying something more ineffable and eternal about love. The portraits, because they are x-rays and not typical fine art images, carry a forensic quality. Like two human artifacts, they invite viewers to dissect and analyze their bond. Intentionally or not, they use a visual language normally associated with medicine and anthropology, and they are therefore poignantly mortal, capturing both the fragility and durability of the human body. The couples appear as if held under a magnifying glass or fixed in stone, intwined in a fixed moment forever. Take a look.
Thanks also to Tim
Images via My Modern Met