These pictures look like a sex experiment gone wrong. But they’re actually advertising for a Japanese condom brand called Condomania.
The images are the work of Japanese photographer Hal, who has photographed 150 couples inside plastic bags, wrapping them up, then vacuuming out the air. The effect is profound (and profoundly strange), showing couples completely entwined at their most intimate: freeze-packed love.
In an email, Hal explains that he meets couples in bars and asks them if they’d like to be photographed. “I seek couples anytime anywhere. I show them a kind of sample photo which I always put it in my pocket,” he writes. “Then I ask them to model for my work directory.”
Hal writes: “I’ve been photographing couples in small, or even cramped spaces like motels and bathtubs. As my work has become more and more intense, I’ve noticed that communication is indispensable. This time, I reached the point of photographing couples in vacuum-sealed packs, in a set that I’ve constructed in my own kitchen.”
He has to be quick. Once he gets them inside the plastic, there are only 10 seconds before the couple starts running out of breath. It’s like they start suffocating in each other’s presence.