arrow left arrow right
photo contest slideshow
Moving Forward
Ridge in western Tatra
Goldfishes in the sky before thunderstorm
Eagle Hunter
Farewell Lord Ganesha
Green Labyrinth
Welcome to the United States of America
Instant regret
Another Face of Grand Canyon
Ruby eyes and a tail made of gold
Luxury beyond Death (Vietnamese Paper Offerings)
Sunset at West Wharf Beach
Mother and a child
Natures Bouquet
The breathtaking landscape of Kanchanaburi
A carefree vendor
Yale University
Piece of History Cowtown
The lovely bones
Petroleum Park
Sharing time
16th Annual Photo Contest
Luxury beyond Death (Vietnamese Paper Offerings)

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?

TAGS: Death, Germany, Life, Religion, Ritual

photographer avatar
Berlin, Germany
Member since 2018
Photo Information
© Kyoko Takemura.
All rights reserved.
Image Source: digital
Date Taken: 07.2018
Total Views: 25
Filed Under: Altered Images
Camera Information
Date Uploaded: Oct. 13, 2018, 2:16 a.m.
Camera Make: Canon
Camera Model: Canon EOS 60D
Focal Length: 38mm
Shutter Speed: 1/40
Aperture: f5.6
Report This