(Editor’s note: One of the artists was originally incorrectly attributed. The name is Saiko Kanda, not Ayako.)
Normally, we don’t like being subjected to X-ray, CT, or body scans of any type unless we have to be, e.g., the doctor’s office, airport security, etc. However, artists Saiko Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi, students at the Musashino Art University in Japan, used X-ray and CT scanning machines not to peek inside the bodies of four human couples, but to create intimate portraits of eight participants willing to be bombarded with X-rays – all for the sake of art.
In imagery, we have notions of what constitutes as intimacy, passion, embrace, etc., that usually involves noticeable human features, such as skin, hair, eyes, etc. Yet, even with those surface-level features stripped away, Kanda and Hayashi’s ghostly skeletal scans still display human intimacy from the couples’ poses. Nobody ever thinks of medical X-ray images as sexy, but the artwork shows otherwise, albeit eerie.
Kanda and Hayashi’s project, which was part of their graduate thesis, won the Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Award. But we don’t recommend you replicating their work by running out to your doctor’s office to get intimate shots of you and loved one, even if you’re into the macabre – a regular camera should suffice.