Photography I Put You In A Vacuum So You Don’t Leave
Photographyaesthetic

I Put You In A Vacuum So You Don’t Leave

Giorgia Massari
Photographer Hal | Collater.al

Vacuuming means preserving, which is perhaps why photographer Haruhiko Kawaguchi – on Instagram Photographer Hal – does it with people, particularly couples. But that’s not all, if a few years ago his most romantic shots were all the rage on the web, today it is also the places under vacuum that are winning everyone over. Houses, restaurants, and even parks are completely packed with a transparent film, so much so that they look like Midjourney-constructed images and, in a way, are reminiscent of the “wrappings” of the land artist couple Christo and Jeanne Claude. As with the latter, everything seen in Photographer Hal’s shots is extremely real and strictly hand-wrapped. But let’s understand why he does it and especially how he makes his sets.

Photographer Hal | Collater.al
Flesh Love All – Famiglia Yamada © Photographer Hal

Covered in love

Photographer Hal has repeatedly stated that he packs everything himself and that this operation is very time-consuming, especially for his new series Flesh Love All. This is an evolution of the Flesh Love project that consisted of vacuum-packing couples, here instead to be included in the film are also the places dear to the subjects, for the most part to be packed are their homes. Not only couples, not only families but also their “containers.” Everything in fact is a message of connection, both between people and between people and their places. What emerges from Photographer Hal’s shots is the emotional core that each person can only build with someone else and with something else, so much so that it becomes their bubble within which their micro-organism exists. Everything here is symbolically connected by a transparent layer of plastic that is nothing but tangible affection.

Photographer Hal | Collater.al
Flesh Love All – Famiglia Yakabe © Photographer Hal

Frozen in time and space

While vacuum means preservation, there is no doubt that a feeling of suffocation emerges when observing the shots. Many wonder how it is possible to put people in a vacuum without suffocating them, but the answer is simple. Photographer Hal has only ten seconds to take the shot before “releasing” his subjects, making it all the more unique. From a symbolic point of view, if the layer of film underscores the union, on the other hand he also tries to seal it in time hoping for a sometimes dramatic “forever.” An attempt to freeze in time and space the harmony of a family or couple, hinting at a kind of abandonment trauma as if to say “never leave me.”

Photographer Hal | Collater.al
Flesh Love All – Famiglia Kawaguchi © Photographer Hal
Photographer Hal | Collater.al
Flesh Love All – Famiglia Inafuku © Photographer Hal

Courtesy Photographer Hal

Photographyaesthetic
Written by Giorgia Massari
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