These photos “preserve the love” – forever.
How do you make a sticky, impermeable prophylactic seem sexy? Japanese company Condomania certainly had their work cut out for them on that front, but Oglivy and Mather Japan, fortunately, found the perfect photographer to work with them for a print ad campaign: Photographer Hal, who happens to be native to the very same country, photographs couples packed together in vacuum-sealer bags originally designed for futons. His work for the campaign isn’t much different from what he usually does, other than the more sensual nude subjects – and it’s surprising when a print ad campaign is potentially more risqué than the art that inspires it.
Of course, for Hal, it’s not about the titillation; it’s all about the intuitive vibe he gets when scouting for interesting couples at underground clubs and “places which are full of activity like luscious night time bee-hives.” It’s also about the empathetic feeling one gets when seeing a beautiful relationship form, and when playing a role in intensifying that relationship. “As the air is sucked out, I start feeling his temperature, his sweat,” said a woman who was photographed by Hal and then interviewed in the promotional video. “Gradually I start being unable to breathe, but at the same time I start feeling his existence. I want to become closer to him, I want to become one with him.”
Hal’s subjects can only stay under such conditions for 10 seconds, and are sometimes offered a dose of extra oxygen afterwards if they start to feel faint. During Paris Fashion Week this year, hermetically-sealed models managed to utterly distract spectators who wondered whether they were alive and breathing – but of course, if you looked closely, they were actually being fed air through a breathing tube. Check out Hai’s photoshoot.