||Phil Cox, Hikaru Toda
Love hotels form part of the everyday lives of many Japanese people – more than 2 million visit them daily – seeking private and intimate places in a densely populated society where they are hard to come by. Love hotels are one of the few places where the hard working Japanese can let loose, away from their cramped living spaces with thin walls and the sense of shame or guilt governing strict social codes. The love hotel buildings are designed to guarantee anonymity and secrecy; it is a labyrinth filled with intimate interactions of everyday citizens.
“Love Hotel” follows everyday people of Osaka from the intimacy of the rooms into their outside realities, revealing the tensions between public/private, fantasy/real and the boundaries in between. They are a married couple, a nurse, lawyers, dominatrix and a pensioner. Unaware of each other, they come to the love hotel where their anonymity is protected, but all share the same longing to love and be loved. Their conversations, sexual expressions, and playful acts range from the tragic and tender, to the mundane, comic and erotic set in the otherworldly spaces of ‘concept’ rooms ranging from SM room to jungle room.