Gallery: Photographer shrink-wraps couples to portray love



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A Japanese photographer shrink-wraps couples he meets in bars and snaps the plastic covered pairs.

CEN AGENCY

A Japanese photographer whose trademark is shrink-wrapping couples he meets in bars while travelling around the Japanese capital Tokyo has notched up hundreds of snaps of plastic covered pairs.

Haruhiko Kawaguchi, whose artistic name is Photographer Hal, looks for couples he thinks have an interesting appearance and he then catches them together of the first shrink wrapping them drawing out of the air, and then rushing to take a picture before they panic about not being able to breathe.

He said: “I tell them that they need to hold their breath for about 10 seconds when I activate the pump to suck out the air, and then I have to rush to get the snap before freeing them by pumping air back into the polythene. Sometimes people do panic but it seems to be a problem more from men than women. I even had one guy panic so badly he wet himself.”

He added that having done so many snaps it works to his advantage because when he meets people now in bars sometimes they have heard of his work, and that makes it easier to persuade them to come along for a photo shoot. “I don’t care about their backgrounds, I have photographed musicians, dancers, strippers, labourers, restaurant and bar managers, photographers, businessmen and women, and the unsettled and unemployed. All are welcome,” he said.

He added: “My work explores the idea of love. I like to vacuum pack my subjects because it’s indicative of freshness and preservation, but it also represents the closeness and fullness of love and its magnetic power to being people together.

His photographic series, which combines the idea of love with the packaging more commonly used in the meat section at the local supermarket, has led to him calling his project ‘flesh love’, and the series is now available in a book compilation and an iPad application.

After graduating from university he joined an advertising production company in his hometown of Tokyo where he learned photography skills and where he learned to love photographing people.

And he added his work was about helping people to connect regardless of who they were, saying: “Those in power are continually guilty of segregation and discrimination – can we realize peace under such conditions? You who are standing on the earth, no matter where you are, love the person in front of you. From two people to a group, a town to a community, a city to a country, from border to border, the ring of love shall prevail. I have started to create my ring of love in the city of Tokyo, believing that some day a world peace without segregation and discrimination will come true.”

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