La Petite Mort gallery presents
Photographs by TOU YUN-FEI / Taiwan
November 23- December 6, 2012
There is no opening night for this exhibit
Viewing available during business hours
Warning: sensitive imagery & subject matter
“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
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
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
Interview with artist:
La Petite Mort Gallery
306 Cumberland Street
Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 7H9
T (613) 860.1555
Facebook: La Petite Mort Gallery
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