Phiphi: Body is so small, it is worried about not being attacked by crows and cats


Unknown: The white hand on forehead

For Pets, Tokyo-based photographer Kuraya Takashi catalogs some of the hundreds of “missing” pet posters that line the city streets. In photographing each each weather-beaten sign up close, he asks that we recognize the acute meaning these ordinary and inexpensively-made documents, each of which holds the image of a beloved and lost friend.

Takashi explains that he discovers the posters by following his gut and without any set game plan. After he stumbles upon one, he constructs narratives based on the few sentences given in description of the animal, fantasizing about who the creature was to each family. The photos, he reminds us, were once taken between moments of play on run-of-the-mill afternoons; now, they carry with them the weight of urgency, remorse, and restless nights.

Takashi’s images are accompanied by captions created by running the few sentences and descriptors found on each sign through Google Translate, first from Japanese to English, then back into Japanese. The cold and automated process by which the application translates and confuses language runs parallel, the artist explains, to the perfunctory role of the camera itself. In this way, both the words and the images from Pets are seen as if through a veil of abstraction, a mechanical undertone that paradoxically underscores the tenderness and sorrow of its content. As days pass and ink begins to blur, these technicolor photocopies become the remaining traces of our loyal friends, a pair of eyes and a wet nose breaking through the paper’s faded surface in remembrance of what is not yet lost.


Howl: Lower front teeth has come out in the socket to broken left ear, protruding lower jaw is


Unknown: There is a bald about one yen coin on the back


Oh: I am a little afraid


Bell: You scared hands, but will come riding to the arm


Moco: Be folded features before both legs/em>


Anko: Tag logo Petio bells and entered in the collar of blue Japanese-style pattern is on


Goro: He is the family who married for 18 years


Hiko: It is a Java sparrow you become familiar with people very


Happy: I do not like is to be hug


Kiji: It was a idle at home cute petite


Kanae: You pressed a finger to his head by want writing a neck in the hands of people


Kojiro: It is a kind of puppy daddy of two dogs


Max: It is the sum of the neck of the light blue leather


Mikel: (White, black, brown) cat sauce bangs


Rum: Unknown from 3 days and night


Seo: Right ear is small, I am going to do come


Momo: There is a kidney disease because of the high Ordinance

All images © Kuraya Takashi