Luxury beyond Death


Luxury beyond Death (2018)

The series portrays the paper offerings that are burnt for the deceased on their death anniversary in Vietnam. This funeral custom is based on the ideology of continuing life with materialistic desire in the afterlife. Similar rituals are widely practised in Asia including China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Besides Joss Paper, which is the most popular offering and the official currency for the afterlife, believers of traditional Vietnamese religion burn various kinds of paper effigies, which portray all necessities that a typical middle-class earner would own: houses, perfume, credit cards, watches and clothes that are often superimposed with luxury brand names. The goods are transferred to the afterlife in the smoke and are received by the dead.
Once the souls have left the body, they become reincarnated in the underworld. They need their home comforts and luxury items as much as the living and some like to wear Rolex and Nike.

This funeral practice provokes the following questions:
– Ghost money lacks purpose to the living, but the billions of dollars that we generate also become inaccessible to us in death — then what’s truly valuable in life?

– If there is a life after life, how do we know that the life we are leading is not an afterlife itself of a different world?




この世で「本物の」通貨はあの世では紙切れにすぎず、 冥土の紙幣はこちらでは用を為さない。生きていれば億万の価値も死ぬ時にはゴミに等しいのならば、本当の価値はどこに存在するのか?