Photographer Hal is an established Japanese photographer born (1971) and based in Tokyo, whose pseudonym originates from the computer in the film ‘A Space Odyssey’.
During his university years he starved for encounters with different people from other cultures around the world. He soon left Japan to travel throughout the Middle East and India. It was there he first became aware of his passion for photography. The camera became the key to overcoming shyness and limited local language skills and he could in some way communicate with the people he met. After graduating he joined an advertising production company in Tokyo and this enabled him to acquire a much wider set of photographic skills. The assignments were varied and unique including celebrities and established fashion icons. It was the crucible of his technical ability and the focus in his work soon became people.
Couples, love and challenge are strong themes throughout this artist’s work with other key elements being individuality, style, communication and intimacy. Photographer Hal brings complete strangers to his confined spaces only to convey his continuing theme of ‘love of the couple’. The initial series ‘Pinky & Killer’ (2004) and ‘Pinky & Killer DX (2007) were shot in a small space or room to capture the willing couples, soon followed by the series ‘Couple Jam’ in 2009 which brought the focus even closer to the subjects who were placed in a bathtub together. “I am currently seeking new dimensions in portrait photography by challenging the majestic theme of mankind, defined through love” Photographer Hal stated around 2010. A new dimension was added in the series ‘Flesh Love’ (2011), which captures the many varied and fresh couples in a vacuum sealed package to express ‘the power of love’ and the primal desire of love couples to become one. By vacuum-packing the couples they are adhered to one another and are unable to breathe for several seconds. In his series ‘ZATSURAN’ (2014) Photographer Hal decided to vacuum-pack couples with their favourite belongings as a means of showing their characters and what they have in common. In his most recent series ‘Flesh Love Returns’, another dimension has been added by photographing the vacuum-packed couples in an environment that has a special meaning to them.
A very different angle visually and content wise can be found in Photographer Hal’s ongoing black-and-white series ‘?’, which body of work acts as an attempt to display the artist’s personal point of view of the current chaotic information society. “The subject of my camera work is whatever that makes me go ‘?’. By looking back at all the ‘?’ that I’ve captured, I believe that I get to understand the world in a deeper level.”
Photographer Hal has had several solo and group exhibitions in Japan as well as in the US, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, France and the Netherlands. His work is in the Japanese contemporary art collection of the renowned art collector of African and Japanese art, Jean Pigozzi.