Luxury beyond Death


Luxury beyond Death (2018)

The series portrays the paper offerings that are traditionally burnt for the deceased on their death anniversary in Vietnam. According to the local religion, once people die, the souls become reincarnated in the underworld. Because it is believed that the deceased need their home comforts and luxury items as much as the living, people burn the paper effigies so the goods are transferred to the afterlife in the smoke and are received by the dead.

Besides fake bank notes, various kinds of paper effigies are burnt – all necessities that a typical middle-class earner would own: houses, perfume, credit cards, toothbrush and clothes. Many of them imitate luxury brand items such as Rolex and Nike. Similar rituals are widely practised in Asia including China, Taiwan and Singapore. 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?