Games and game hardware came packaged. They're sealed shut, some of them completely shrink-wrapped. and covered in clear plastic. They are sealed off from the outside world.
But what about people? What would we look like shrink-wrapped?
We'd look like this. Japanese artist Hal's "Flesh Love" doesn't simply examine that, but goes one step further and looks at couples joined in an airless environment. They're shrink-wrapped, but what's on display is how they come together and form a whole. Couples, like machines, are an assembly of various parts working together in concert. Like machines they can malfunction and come to pieces.
The models are folks Hal meets in Tokyo's Shinjuku—from musicians to strippers, from businessmen to bartenders. When he sees a couple of interest, he asks them to pose for his photos. What makes his photos unusual, and even beautiful, is how the subjects are "shrink-wrapped" by being placed in a vacuum bed.
In a vacuum bed, all the air is sucked out, and the person, left immobile, can usually only breath through a small hole. This sort of thing is viewable in edgy adult movies (such as this Haruhi Suzumiya dirty movie parody). Make no mistake, this is dangerous.
What makes Hal's photo proposition even more unnerving for possible models is that they are completely sealed in the vacuum bed for the few, brief moments while he snaps off photos.
Then, the vacuum bed is either punctured or filled with air, allowing the models to breath.
These colorful couples, with their endless varieties, would not look out of place in a truly surreal store, selling a wide variety of relationships. However, just looking at the photos is at once appealing, but also suffocating and unnerving—just like so much great art often is. The photos are at both blunt and fragile, just like the electronics and games we own.
Hal's "Flesh Love" series first hit the internet via French site Lense earlier this month, spreading to sites like DesignBoom. You can see more of Hal's work on his official site. Note that much of it is NSFW.
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