The Chini Project: This Chinese Crested Acts Like People in Photos

Photographer Irina Werning drops Chini the dog into miniature human scenarios.


It’s important to be able to laugh at yourself — and no one knows that better than a dog. Happy and uninhibited, dogs don’t get embarrassed, so when they do something silly, they simply laugh with us laughing at them. When we project ourselves onto our dogs, it’s easier for us to examine ourselves and see the comedy in our human lives.

When photographer Irina Werning was asked to look after a friend’s house and three dogs for a month, she didn’t realize it would change her entire outlook. Prior to her dog-sitting duties, Irina had never lived with dogs and hadn’t given them much thought. That all changed when Chini — a Chinese Crested — accompanied her to a friend’s photo studio, and that’s when the Chini Project was born.

For a year, Irina constructed little sets for Chini to inhabit, comically re-creating human scenarios and revealing their absurdity by projecting them onto the dog. Because, really, midlife crisis dude, your leather ensemble and boatlike motorcycle don’t make you look cool, they just make you look desperate, as Chini so effortlessly demonstrates.

Beyond operating as a metastatement on human life, Chini’s photographs are masterfully executed through detailed sets and props, drawing us into their caricature of our world by creating a dog-sized version of it.

And once again, a dog teaches us a very important lesson: Don’t take life too seriously.

Find more of Chini’s adventures here.

Photos via Irina Werning’s site

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