ARTS & CULTURE

Izima Kaoru's 'Landscape With A Corpse': Artist Creates Staged Death Portraits In Jarring Fashion Series (PHOTOS)

05/28/2013 09:41 am ET | Updated May 28, 2013
Courtesy of the Artist and Von Lintel Gallery

Japanese artist Izima Kaoru is a fashion photographer by trade, but his ongoing series "Landscape with a Corpse" appears more like an elaborate performance art project that your typical magazine spread.

For the series, Kaoru asked female models to imagine their own deaths, creating jaw-dropping images from the grim details his subjects provided. From the exact location and setting of their fictional demise down to the couture outfits they wish to be wearing during their final moments, the resulting portraits are a morbid take on high-fashion.

izima kaoru landscape with a corpse

Kaoru began his unique landscape photos in 1995, recruiting mostly female models to not only describe their own hypothetical deaths but also to act out these scenes in glossy, stylized snapshots. Dressed in Prada and Yves Saint Laurent, the bold actresses are shown lying in an empty, snow-covered field or contorted on the floor of a luxurious apartment, living out their fantasies of dramatic, idealized deaths.

"I always thought that fashion magazines should work to liven up everyday life, or to evoke new ways of thinking towards life," Kaoru told The Huffington Post in an email. "And I thought ['Landscape with a Corpse'] could open the door more widely for the Japanese who tend to turn their backs on the taboos of death."

Kaoru has continued the project for nearly two decades, interviewing a host of subjects on their deepest morbid desires. Having devoted so much time to the subject, Kaoru has certainly had time to develop his own ideas on a person's final chapter. "There is no good or bad in death," Kaoru explains. "Everyone should be content with the life they lived when they look back and leave the real world for the next."

Scroll through the photos below for a peek at "Landscape with a Corpse." Let us know how you feel about his macabre imaginations in the comments.

Izima Kaoru
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