Monday, September 14, 2009

David Brownings

On Friday I figured out how to make my images really large however the design of my blog needs tweaking so please be patient while I work it out.

Today's post is about a long standing obsession of mine which started in the mid 90's on a trip to Vietnam. I discovered religious paper offerings in the forms of daily everyday objects.
I have found out more about the origins of this practice in China but think that the basis of it is the same.
The custom is based in Taoism with varying degrees of local lore and Buddhism. The idea is that the spirit world exists amongst us and that "this world" and "the next world" are not that far apart.
Therefore when a person departs this world they must take with them their most treasured possessions. In years gone by these were paper representations of formal dress and other clothing but these days they have expanded to cell phones, lap tops, cars and passports.
The name, date of birth and address would be written on and then the offering burned.

Needless to say I brought a few pieces for my collection and then a few years later found a great book called "Souvenirs from Hell " published by Street Design File in Japan. It documents the practice through great photos.




You never know when you might need a happy meal in the after world !!

Then yesterday I came across the work of illustrator David Brownings who seems to have created his own spin on this tradition and made some wonderful sculptures of his own.




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