Photographer shrink wraps his subjects and their homes for striking series about love

Photographer Hal's 'Flesh Love All' series has been featured in 14 exhibitions around the world

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For the past six years, one Japanese photographer has been approaching people asking if he can vacuum seal them and their homes. The unusual request has resulted in an other-worldly series that's now taken the artist around the world.

He prefers to be known as Photographer Hal — "because a photographer must be able to erase his ego and shoot" — and says the series, titled Flesh Love All, is actually a commentary on love.

Scroll through the gallery above for more pictures from Photographer Hal's 'Flesh Love All' series

"I started by asking the question: 'Why do human beings love each other?'," he tells The National. "There is a philosophy that says men and women are instinctively attracted to each other because they were originally one being. I am trying to make things that love each other into one existence using a method called vacuum packing."

Photographer Hal says his project is a commentary on love. Photo: Photographer Hal

In Flesh Love All, it's not only the human subjects that are wrapped. Entire homes or interiors are sealed in transparent plastic. In one instance, a couple and their two children, as well as their two-storey home, cars, two-wheeler and surrounding trees are wrapped, as if frozen in time.

"The meaning of showing affection is not only to those who love each other, but also to the outside society," explains Photographer Hal, whose name is inspired by the sentient computer from Stanley Kubrick's seminal film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It's a painstaking process that takes about two weeks per subject to plan and execute.

"First, I do location scouting. Then I decide on the angle and the lens to use. I have to measure the dimensions of everything I see in the viewfinder of my camera. Based on that, I create a blueprint and create a vacuum pack.

"Then I go to the location and start packing with the help of six to seven assistants. And finally, I vacuum pack the couple or family."

The actual shoot lasts only 10 seconds as the bags need to be opened immediately so as not to suffocate the human subjects.

"We also need to factor in the weather as we can't shoot when it's windy. This is why I can only do a few shoots a year," Photographer Hal says.

For those concerned about the excessive use of plastic, he says all the wrapping is reused from shoot to shoot.

A total of 13 couples and families are featured in the current Flesh Love All series, with plans to add more.

The series has travelled to 14 exhibitions around the world, including Taiwan, Switzerland, Italy and Slovakia.

"I have participated in several receptions, and I felt that there are commonalities in that people can perceive the impact of visuals and simple messages, even if the countries and cultures are different."

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Updated: October 13, 2022, 6:20 AM
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