Japan’s love hotels have long provided places for anonymous, uninterrupted sex. In a country built on conformity, love hotels break the rules in their quirky design, which are monuments to sometimes juvenile hedonism.
Photographers Ralph Lagoi & Kate Lace introduce us to Japan’s love hotels in ‘Love Land Invaders’. Before explaining their project, a bit of background on Japan’s unique hotel experiences.
Getting away’ to a love hotel isn’t only for people intent on having an illicit sexual experience. Family structures and population density make privacy a valued commodity in Japan, a brief time away from thin walls and family questions.
As Japan’s young women have joined the workforce and love the life of a fashionista, love hotels have gone upscale. The highly popular ‘Love Hotel Lovers’ website is vanilla-only.
Since Japan introduced a “New Public Morals Act” intended to regulate love hotels and the sex trade in response to international pressures, hotels with “facilities not required for the basic purposes of guest lodging” are now categorized as “sex-related businesses”. These hotels can only operate in specially-designated red light districts such as Shinjuku’s Kabuki-cho or the Susukino area of Sapporo. (via Japanzine.)
‘Love Land Invaders’ by Ralph Lagoi & Kate Lace
Ralph Lagoi & Kate Lace’s ‘Love Land Invaders’ images are inspired by the ‘Love Land Invaders’ collection, which they designed and constructed beforehand, “consists of masks, glasses, shields, armory, jewelry, customized clothes and ribbons, which are reaching out like demanding tentacles. After putting on these pieces both artists transformed into “Miss Takehito Quadruple”, “Mister Hyde Dobuita Speerträger”, “Mr. Seiuchi Sivuch”, “Shika Shika Chan” and “Miss Ayanami Oenshi”. Each of these characters represents a certain aspect of beauty (the beauty of dark elegance, the beauty of a gentleman, the beauty of play, the beauty of wilderness, the beauty of pink)”. (via project website.)