This project by Yun-Fei is incredibly heart breaking. Presented as a photographic series makes the cause even more poignant.
The project Memento Mori sheds light on the euthanization of dogs in shelters. Yun-Fei captures these dogs with a sense of dignity and acknowledgement on the final day of their lives. These images are like a slap in the face to the viewer, presenting these dogs in the classic portrait setting we would find a person and forcing us to consider the sad endings that these animals face.
I'd like you to hear what Yun-Fei has to say about this project in his artist statement:
"Utilizing the classical portrait style that artists have used throughout history, these images record the last moments of life for dogs found in public pounds run by government agencies in Taiwan. The images are taken on the actual day that each animal depicted is euthanized. Through these portraits the viewer is confronted with an irreversible past and witnesses the decay of life, moments before death. These nameless animals, by virtue of the size at, which they are printed and the approximations to human scale, are transformed into existence.
As you engage with the dog, the dog returns the scrutiny. The relationship between seeing and being seen, between the subject and object reverses and the discriminatory hierarchy is lessened. The status of power between humans and other salient beings, those considered “the other” is diminished."