Haruhiko Kawaguchi (Japanese, 1971 – )
Also known as Photographer Hal, Haruhiko Kawaguchi was born and educated in Tokyo, Japan where he is based. “Living through my university days, I was starving for encounters with different people from other cultures around the world. As soon as I had the opportunity, I left Japan and began my journey with a special focus in the Middle East and India. It was there where I first became aware of my passion for photography. The camera became the key to overcoming shyness and limited local language skills and I could in some way communicate with the people I met. After graduating from university, I joined an advertising production company in Tokyo and this opportunity enabled me to acquire a much wider set of photographic skills. The assignments were varied and unique including celebrates and established fashion icons. It was the crucible of my technical ability and the focus in my work soon became the people”
Bathtubs, couples, love and challenge are strong themes found throughout Photographer Hal’s works with many key elements including individuality, style, communication and intimacy. Photographer Hal brings complete strangers to his confined, crucible like spaces only to convey his continuing theme of 「love of the couple」. The initial title 《Pinky & Killer》 used a small space or room to capture the willing couples, soon followed by the title 《Couple Jam》 which brought the focus even closer to the subjects who were placed in a bathtub together. “I want to capture love as it really is and the bathtub is an ideal vehicle to encapsulate the vivid reality in my images….” “I am currently seeking new dimensions in portrait photography by challenging the majestic theme of mankind, defined through love.” Photographer Hal’s latest project is called 《Flesh Love Returns》, which captures the many varied and fresh couples in vacuum sealed package at a place which is important for 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.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2015 HAL. Ibasho Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
Selected Group Exhibitions
2013 Transformer. The Body Remixed. Gallery SAW Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
2016 Flesh Love Returns Publication. Publisher – Tosei-Sha, Tokyo, Japan
2011 JAPIGOZZI Collection “Flesh Love”