Dozens of people wearing cat or dog costumes paraded on the streets with their pets near the Taipei World Trade Center yesterday afternoon as they took part in a series of activities for an animal welfare photography exhibition that opened on Friday afternoon.
Walking into the exhibition space, an enlarged photo taken from inside a paper box makes visitors feel like they are inside a box, looking at the world through an abandoned animal’s perspective.
The exhibition called “where r u” shows the lives of cats and dogs through photographs and installation art at the Xinyi Public Assembly Hall, a new art space at 44 South Village (四四南村), which was organized by nearly 70 volunteers from the Taiwan Sheltered Animals Conservationist Association (TSACA).
Adolph Liang (梁志瑋), one of the project managers and an association volunteer, said aside from pet lovers, the exhibition also hopes to attract non-pet lovers by incorporating the elements of photography, art and entertainment into the event. This included inviting 44 entertainers to shoot a promotional video urging the public to care for animals.
“TSACA volunteers often go to public shelters on weekends to clean and play with the animals, because animals that are more people-friendly are more likely to be adopted,” Liang said. “However, after four years of doing volunteer work, we realized that abandoned or lost pets kept on coming in every week, so we have to stop the problem at its source, which is proper education.”
The animal parade was a light-hearted effort to attract more people, such as nearby shoppers, to visit and explore the exhibition and learn about respect for life, he said.
The exhibition includes low-angle shots of dog food, toys, strays, human legs and other objects to show how a pet might view these things from their perspective.
Liang said they hoped visitors could get a feel of how pets live and learn about responsible care for other lives.
In a section called “Breaking through Prejudice,” portraits of mixed-breed dogs and mixed-race people were displayed on a wall.
“Many people often say mixed-race persons are beautiful, but when it comes to raising pets, many people only want purebred dogs or cats, making the adoption of mix-breed pets more difficult at animal shelters,” a volunteer guide said.
The exhibition also has a section featuring the practice of euthanasia and TNR (trap-neuter-release) at animal shelters.
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