The overall winner, Jasper Doest, took the moving photograph of a monkey wearing a human mask in a traditional Japanese sake house north of Tokyo. The artist explained that after dinner, the tavern’s guests can watch Japanese macaques performing tricks with various props on a makeshift stage.
“In the old days, the Japanese macaque or snow monkey was a sacred religious symbol, known to mediate between gods and humans. Today, the animal has been reduced to a secular scapegoat, a defaced outcast, and target of mockery.”
This photo is part of Jasper’s larger series of photos that he shot for National Geographic called “Sacred No More.” According to the artist’s website, “The Japanese macaque, best known as the ‘snow monkey,’ is revered as a bridge between man and the gods, but it has become so habituated to humans in recent years that its population has increased tenfold.”
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