The project depicts polar bears on display and their artificial habitats. It attempts to portray the dilemmas concerning captive animal programs. These videos are not looped: they are based on the ‘stereotypical behaviours (endless repetition of a fixed sequence of movements)’ of polar bears in captivity, recorded in 17 enclosures worldwide.

Ethological studies have shown that stereotypical behaviours stem from limited captive environments that do not satisfy the animals’ normal behavioural needs. It is also seen as a sign of psychological distress in animals. However, it should be noted that stereotypes do not necessarily correspond to poor condition at the time — it can stem from poor welfare in an earlier stage in the course of the animal’s life.

Sheng-Wen Lo

Sheng-Wen Lo (1987, Taiwan) is currently based in the Netherlands. He is interested in contemporary human-animal relationships, and attempts to encourage debate on that subject. He uses a variety of media including still and moving images, video games, and data.

He received his MA in photography from AKV|St.Joost in the Netherlands, and MSc in computer science from the Computer Music Lab at National Taiwan University. Being a scientist, scientific methodologies are crucial to his practice.

His recent work has been shown in EYE Filmmuseum and World Press Photo in The Netherlands, ICP Museum in New York, FORMAT Photo Festival and Belfast Photo Festival in UK, OrganVida Photo Festival in Croatia, and LianZhou Foto Festival in China.


Director: Sheng-Wen Lo
Sound artist: I-lly Cheng
Consultant/veterinary science: Kendy (Tzu-Yun) Teng
Consultant/visual concept: Erik Vroons
Consultant/visual design: Yi-Hsien Hung