By RYAN GORMAN
A Taiwanese photographer took haunting portraits of shelter dogs in the moments before they were to be euthanized.
Yun-Fei Tou shot the images in order to "arouse people's awareness of animal rights," he told AOL News.
The sad images of the doomed canines illustrate the hopelessness many of these animals face. They also show how unaware they are of their ultimate fate.
Despite likely being unaware of their death sentences, the animals still harbor an undeniable sadness in their eyes.
"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," said the photographer.
"The images are taken on the actual day that each animal depicted is euthanized," he continued. "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," Tou said.
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," he explains.
"The status of power between humans and other salient beings, those considered 'the other' is diminished.
"The images presented in the MEMENTO MORI act as the artist's own self-portrait
whereby one can look back and in retrospect reflect upon times of confusion and despair;
the pains of both spirit and body; the desire for exit and the fear of death; and witness the
The pictures have been provided to AOL News by the photographer. The rest of his work is viewable on his website.
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