Imagine being sealed with your lover in a plastic bag, unable to breathe, your fleshy bodies pushing against each other, breaking the boundaries of the self. For the Japanese artist Photographer Hal, a mundane household item—a vacuum-sealable futon container—can visually bring to life the invisible emotional currents of love-making and sexual intimacy. He seeks out intriguing couples in bars, inviting them to sit for him in the nude; he then vacuum packs them so that they might be intwined together for a brief moment, suspended in time with bated breath and sweaty skin.
Hal’s images capture both the cosmic and practical aspects of sex. His subjects are caught in a loving embrace, their faces twisting and pressed together in seeming ecstasy; at the same time, viewers are invited to ask logistical questions: how did that fit in there? What does that feel like? We wonder how the sweat-drenched plastic is cleaned between takes; we even worry for the safety of the lovers.
Because of this magical tension between spiritual closeness and the literal practicalities of nakedness and intimacy, Hal’s images lend themselves to deeper discussions about safe sex, and they now appear in a new ad campaign by Ogilvy and Mather Tokyo for condom brand Condomania. These eye-catching shots bear the caption, “Preserve the love. Wear a condom.” Well done.
Thanks to Ad Week
Images via Ad Week