Gibier(The dead animal portraits)
Why do we kill animals to satisfy our appetite?
Photographer/Visual artist Tomofumi Nakano(b.1978,Japan) started the project Gibier -The dead animal portraits, because he was extremely shocked to see what was happening at his friend’s exclusive French restaurant in Japan, where the guests who dressed up to the nines were laughing over the feast while bloody deeds were taking place at the kitchen or the backyard each time someone orders ‘viande’ (meat). Not only at fancy restaurant like that. We are usually seeing chopped and plastic-wrapped meats at supermarkets in everyday life.The diners appeared not to care about the slaughter acts occurring behind their back. No one paid attention to the tragedy happening to animals.Then he couldn’t help but wondering, ‘Why do we kill animals to satisfy our appetite?’
Dead or alive? Dead body or food?
Nakano photographs these dead animals with using the action of light, just like that in the Christian paintings. Inspired by the fact that Jesus Christ on the cross still looks divine even on the verge of death, he uses the same lighting technique to avoid the ugliness of dead bodies. Viewers, therefore, cannot instantly tell if the animals are alive or dead. What is interesting is that we feel disgusting when we see an animal as dead body, whereas the same dead body looks appetizing when we regard it as food. The totally different reaction - he finds it very funny.
To promote a dialogue between people with different cultural backgrounds.
Nakano has worked on this project so far in Japan, South Korea, France, Belgium, Spain, Georgia, Armenia with the utmost attention to the cultural and legal circumstances in each country. Now he expects this series to be seen by more people with different cultural backgrounds. At the same time, he is willing to further understand other cuisine cultures as well. ‘Gibier’ means the wild animals hunted for food in French cuisine, known as highly-respected meal all over the world. He uses the term for this project by extending the interpretation to any kinds of flesh for human consumption.