Flesh Love: Photographs of Vacuum-Wrapped Tokyo Couples

Haruhiko-Kawaguchi photography

On a kitchen floor in Tokyo, Japanese photographer Haruhiko Kawaguchi spends 10-20 seconds photographing couples that he meets in nightclubs. He arranges them like pieces of meat inside bags meant to store futons and blankets. He then seals their conjoined bodies inside the bag using a household vacuum that sucks out all of the air.

For this project, Flesh Love, he’s photographed over 80 couples. Kawaguchi says the men panic more often than the women. A few have struggled for air while in the bag and one man ended up pissing himself. The women just want to look good, he says.

Haruhiko-Kawaguchi photography

Haruhiko-Kawaguchi photography

Haruhiko-Kawaguchi photography

Haruhiko-Kawaguchi photography

via Oddity Central

  • Originalissime. Più legati e stretti l’un all’altra di così…

  • Really interesting idea. I’m surprised people sign up for it 🙂

  • Louise

    Contemporary art breaking new grounds once again. Congratulations Kawaguchi.

  • Adam

    Wow, neat effect but stupid idea.. risk peoples lives just for a silly photo.

  • Awesome. Clever and funny. And done quickly and with consideration for the subjects. Totally jealous I didn’t think of it.

  • Fascinating and innovative. And to comment #4, it’s an incredible and artistic idea and the phrase is “affect” not “effect”.

  • David

    What? It’s definitely a neat “effect”. A neat “affect” would be a neat but fake accent.

  • English Police

    To comment #4:
    “Effect” is a word, not a phrase, and it is the correct word. Examples: You create an “effect” or you have an “effect”. You “affect” something.

    Amazing facial expression in photo 5. I’m a bit surprised that people allowed an artist to vacuum bag them; I’m not even sure I’d let a friend do that.

  • Reggie

    I like this. Very intimate and trusting.

  • Fvan

    This is a bit of a one-liner….

  • N. A.

    h a z a r d .

  • Ian

    How is this risking someone’s life? It’s no different than asking someone to pose underwater. They’re not asked to stay in the bags more than 10 seconds and the photographer clearly counts to make sure.

  • LOL, look up VACbed and see what you find!!! I would term this under ‘breath play’ to be sure!!!! Those kinky Japanese!!!!!!

  • alex

    @Jim Tetro: can i put you on internet fails? lolz

  • norimae

    Good thing the dude is not a serial killer posing as a contemporary artist.

  • Steve

    Best done in semi transparent grey rubber, mounted on a steel vacuum frame, but nice to see. “Intimate & trusting” is an apt comment.

  • Pretty original, props to the subjects that even considered being shrink-wrapped.

  • The photographer is taking a HUGE risk here, and I speak as a medical professional. It’s only a matter o time before someone dies or has a seizure.

  • PT

    Can you imagine the exchange….??? “Hey guys…don’t mean to bother you, but I was just wondering….” Would it be cool with the two of you to come to my warehouse/loft, strip down, step into a large translucent bag which I would then zip closed and sort of like, vacuum pack you?” Obviously, I’d shoot probably like 10 or 15 seconds of images. “Soooooo, whaddya think???”

  • jeffrelynn

    Reggie’s comment articulates it for me “intimate and trusting”. Not an easy feeling to create in a brightly lit studio wrapped in plastic. Also, Visually stunning compositions. Aesthetically pleasing, interesting in both product and process. I like this too. Very much.

  • alfie

    i don’t think it’s cool.
    these few pictures caught everyone’s attention, but i can’t feel anything attractive at all. Plus, they don’t look enjoying this shoot.

  • Most conceptual art I’ve seen seems to require no talent or dedicated practice of a craft… just an idea no one’s thought of yet. It’s creative one up-man-ship…that at best makes the viewer say, “Neat…I wish I thought of that so I could grab my 15 minutes of fame.”

  • Www

    How the F is this crap art?

  • and interesting idea for a wedding (not). Couples wrapped in plastic at the bridal table. Only in Japan right?

  • Art lover

    Sometimes, art means taking the risk to reach creativity to greater heights… I find these pieces of idea to be good art… experimenting on art is so much better than suicide… these people are not attempting suicide or causing harm, they are taking art to a whole new level!

  • Roids

    NO ONE FART!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!

  • J P

    I saw this once posted and it was just one girl , not sure who did the work but they filmed until she died and it looked like they intended her to die ! I dont have a weak stomach but this was the sickest thing i have ever scene ,outright murder !

  • AH

    Saw that concept in 2001 in Sweden. Still a good idea thou…

  • Superb! What an amusing bouquet of emotions these images stir up. Grotesque Curiousity, with a splash of terror, and plenty of skin for your sub-C sex drive.

  • FF

    Wow. Some people are just plain stupid.

  • mild mannered janitor

    Hey Kawaguchi,
    We have got enough shots now. Looks like you got away with it. Now do us all a favour and move on.
    I’m sure the world will be able to value your portfolio of shots all the more with a clean conscience and safe in the knowledge that no one is going to die for their entertainment.
    Lets just hope a load of others don’t try to copy the concept.
    Its clearly been “done to death” already. Less is more.

  • nasia


  • Florian

    Nowadays you could defecate on a white sheet of paper and people would call it contemporary art. Do people dont have real problems and lives anymore that they want to express in a artful way??! Obviously people are more occupied with mobile phones and their facebook account that they dont have any spirit of art anymore. This is the peak of rubbish people stand in front of and say ‘interesting, deep,….’. Bullshit, mainstream scapegraces.

  • critic

    unoriginal – such a cliche – please think outside of the box…or bag for that matter…maybe the artist was sealed in an oxygen deprived bag for too long to think was any good…

  • To dangerous

  • You idiots! Oh my God! Like that so dumb, okay, I know you take “safety precautions” But, that really dumb!

  • What’s next under the guise of art!

  • Ken

    This is some sick shit! This is not art this is morbid.


    dear people with all the hate comments, I do not know the artist and don’t think this is worthy of a trophy or something. However, I would like to remind you “critics” that trying something that YOU think may turn out great and seeing it done till the end, sharing it with the world, without the fear of rejection is a brave and commendable thing to do. the result may or may not be spectacular, it can be stupid even.
    One way or the other, creators will always lord over the critics of the world.

    “BE STUPID” -Diesel

  • Boubou

    C’est nul et dangereux…. vraiment n’importe quoi 🙁

  • This is by far the dumbest thing ever and you have been sold. I can take a shit and wrap it in the same style of plastic and call it art and you would say to yourself “why didn’t I think of that?” grow up people.

  • Sue

    SICK! as in BAD!

  • The NZA

    I’m no medical “professional”. I’m sure it is an uncomfortable feeling.. But it doesn’t take a genius to understand it probably takes well over 10 seconds for someone to suffocate in that thing.

  • amz

    I think the problem with society is we feel we have the right to protect others from themselves and further, to judge on their behalf what is an unacceptable level of risk. Just because a person assesses a certain hazard differently to you, doesn’t mean they are “stupid” or unaware of the risks involved. People like this who are prepared to venture outside of the organized safety your mom taught you form the basis for all the pioneers of our species. Now I’m not saying vacuum wrap art is going to change the world, but expansion in any field is scary and dangerous, and on these grounds no one judges you for choosing not to participate. Be a decent human being and return the favour to to those who do.

  • hmmmmmm


  • Joelle

    Why?? Don’t think so…”F” that.

  • Amazing extremely unique, also on someone else’s comment artist isn’t risking anyone’s life they were extremely considerate and compassionate about their well being, what they had to hold their breath a a few seconds. If it was a risky situation that individual put themselves in that position! Props to the amazing artist I’m sure you get all sorts of critisizism good and bad! Keep up the amazing/unique work! Sorry so emotional I have a daughter where some of her fellow peers were pretty harsh to her about a painting In which she got first place in I told her they were just jealous because they weren’t and will never be as talanted as she is!

  • Jasmine

    I think its beautiful. It reminds me of a baby in the womb especially the first one with the naked couple. The concept is weird and I wouldn’t be brave enough to let a stranger shrink wrap me. Cool idea though.

  • What if one of them is going to fart ?

  • Becca

    Well, they have been doing this as a fetish for a long time. I’m not surprised that someone has finally thought to make art from it.

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