2011/06/13, 11:44am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 40 Minutes’, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 33X42cm on paper size 51X64cm, $350 2011/10/24, 12:09pm, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.9 Hours’, 2011, Photograph, Edition 3/20, Image size 33X42cm on paper size 51X64cm, $350 2011/11/28, 10:54am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.2 Hours’, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 33X42cm on paper size 51X64cm, $350 2011/03/07, 04:17am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 13.2 Hours’, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 33X42cm on paper size 51X64cm, $350 2011/08/01, 11:38am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 29 Minutes, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 33X42cm on paper size 51X64cm, $350 2010/10/04, 01:49am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 15.7 Hours, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 28.1X42cm on paper size 46.1X64cm, $350 2010/11/29, 06:16am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 11.2 Hours, 2011, Photograph, Edition 3/20, Image size28.1X42cm on paper size 46.1X64cm, $350 2011/08/05, 11:58am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 2 Minutes’, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 33X42cm on paper size 51X64cm, Sold 2010/10/11, 03:17am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 14.2 Hours, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 28.1X42cm on paper size 46.1X64cm, $350 2010/09/06, 05:01am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 12.5 Hours, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 33X42cm on paper size 51X64cm, $350 2011/06/13, 11:44am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 40 Minutes, 2011, Photograph, Edition 2/20, Image size 33X42cm on paper size 51X64cm, $350

November 2012

MEMENTO MORI

Photographs by TOU YUN-FEI

 

November 23- December 6, 2012

Vernissage Friday Nov 23 / 7-10pm

 

ARTISTS STATEMENT:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”Ghandi

These images record the last moments of life for some dogs found in public pounds run by governmental agencies in Taiwan. These portraits are taken on the very day in which the animal depicted is about to be put down or mercifully killed. These images are but a small fraction of the total body of work in this ongoing project.

Utilizing the classic portrait style that originated in the early 19th century with the birth of photography as an art form these photographs offer the viewer a chance to look attentively into a bleak future. These dogs are essential dead and their souls are hours, minutes away from non-existence. These portraits reflect a formal construct or platform through which the viewer and the dog “communicate” using exchanged gazes to create a forced contemplation.

Photographic images allow us to contemplate. Through contemplation we gain an understanding of the uniqueness and nobility of life. Through contemplation we understand how chaotic and disordered the world has become.

The tyranny of human has caused and today is still causing an amount of pain and suffering over nonhuman animals. Nonhuman animals should be treated as independent sentient beings that they are, and not as a means to human being.

People should consider animal rights as a moral issue rather than appealing to emotional affection. As Peter Singer wrote in his Animal Liberation, “The portrayal of those who protest against cruelty to animals as sentimental, emotional “animal-lovers” has had the effect of excluding the entire issue of our treatment of nonhumans from serious political and moral discussion.”

The purpose of this project is to arouse people’s awareness of animals rights and make people think through, carefully and consistently, the question of how we ought to treat nonhuman animals. The animals themselves are incapable of demanding their own liberation, or of protesting against their condition with votes, demonstrations, or boycotts. We have to speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.

The photographic image is merely a vehicle of communication that can lead to a better understanding of a situation, an event, of ourselves and of the world around us.

In viewing these specific images, one looks directly into the eyes of the dog and the dog looks back. These images reflect the last opportunity to look. This is a final and decisive moment. Death is eminent and all that is asked of the viewer is to engage, to recognize the common bonds and to honor the resemblances between our lives.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yMztUui5Xs

 

Work Experience

2011〜 present Contributing Photographer, BUSINSS WEEKLY, Taiwan

2010〜 present Columnist, ESLITE STATION , Taiwan

2010〜present Freelance Photographer

2010〜2011 Photography Advisor , CHEERS MAGAZINE, Taiwan

2008〜2009 Senior Photographer, CHEERS MAGAZINE, Taiwan

2004〜2008 Photographer, RHYTHM MONTHLY, Taiwan

1999〜2003 Curator/Art Director, Photography Studio of Yang Chi-Hsin

 

Exhibition and Publication

Oct 2011 “MEMENTO MORI”, PUNCTUM, issue 2, India.

Jul 2011 “The Mercy Killing of Stray Dogs”, BUSINESS WEEKLY, issue 1235, Taiwan.

May 2011 “The Uprising of New Farmers”, BUSINESS WEEKLY, issue 1224, Taiwan.

Mar 2011 “Provocation”, a juried invitational photo exhibition presented by New York Photo

Festival, New York.

2010〜2011 “Into Society: Critical Realism in Taiwanese Photography since 1990” exhibition