photographer hal returns with vacuum sealed couples in intimate spaces
(above) #18 eike & melanie
all images © photographer hal




tokyo-based artist photographer hal continues his collection of vacuum sealed couples with the series ‘flesh love returns’. recently shortlisted at this year’s sony world photography awards, the images see pairs of people tightly wrapped in a thin layer of plastic, and photographed in an extreme, yet ephemeral moment. expanding on the first iteration of the project — which featured couples photographed on sheets of brightly colored paper, the second series is shot in private, intimate spaces — such as the couples’ homes, workplaces, and favorite meeting places.


‘I make them choose a place for shooting,’ the artist says. ‘men and women are attracted to each other, and try to become one. this fundamental desire carries an energy that affects all matter in the world. I wonder: what is the reason we have to make such an effort to become one — possibly we were originally one? I intend to visualize this power of love by adhering and unifying couples.’ 

#05 marijntje & jaap




each couple can only be left inside the sealed bag for 10 seconds, as air is extremely limited, and oxygen is shared by the two people inside. ‘because the couple cannot breathe in the bag, the vacuum-packed state can only be kept for several seconds. this is why I chose photography to capture these pieces.’

#13 kenta & aki

#07 johnnie & kafka

#01 nobuyuki & chiemi


#14 ruby & brian

#12 kohmey & keiko

#11 eddy & ashbee

#02 kaede & attci