Tags: Culture, Museum
Tonight is the last night before the closing of The Gate so there are a lot of people burning more hell notes again to appease the Dead.
As mentioned before, there are a lot of design as well as different sizes of hell notes, and they are all in very high denomination, like in millions and billions and zillions….hahah…:D I think one would be much richer in death then he would ever earn while still living. :p
When one is living, there will always be not enough money to spend. Likewise after death. People would burn these super high denomination notes in bundles to their loved ones who had passed on, hoping that they would have a better life in the Netherworld. But hor, so much notes to carry around….so troublesome! So some smart alec came out with the credit cards for the dead! Wow! So the Dead also like cashless payment, dunnu which is the preferred card? :p
Usually things other than the hell notes are burnt for the Dead during funerals, death anniversary or festive occasions where the Living think the Dead would need the extra cash. :p These items include credit cards for those going for prestige and status and gold or silver bars for the more traditional ones. Luxurious items like branded designer bags, gold chains etc are also available, but hor, all in paper lah of cos…hahah…they are all meant to be burnt, remember? :p
But out of these luxurious items, I think the most top of the range ones must be that of a car and a mansion. Often these comes with chauffeurs and servants! There were at least three Chinese funeral wakes around my place during this Ghost Month and these must-have items were prominently displayed for all to see. A pity I couldn’t take some pictures of those, cos it would be a bit disrespectful for the Dead and insensitive to the families. But Itchyfingers managed to snap some these pictures from the on-going exhibition at the newly opened 8Q SAM Museum. :p
Tags: Culture, Design
When we are alive and kicking, most of us slogged away more than half our life working for a living – for that many pieces of paper known as money, which has the power to buy us food, a roof over our heads and also many many other desirable things. In some cases, even love and health…In a materialistic world, money is especially important to many people. Even so after death…
The Chinese’s belief in the power of money is so strong that they believe that even after death, one would need money. Maybe to use as bribery to Hell Guards and Officials so as to get a lighter sentence? Or to get better food and clothes? The whole concept may sound bizarre to many, but it is what people choose to believe, especially as a way of showing love to their loved ones. I must admit I am one of those who dun believe in it but do it cos of family obligation.
So during the Ghost Month, people would burn paper money for their loved ones in the hope that they would be able to have a better life in the other world. These paper money come in many sizes, designs and denomination. Most are printed on low quality paper and often colours are not registered probably so you see double images. For higher denominations notes, the first piece will always be printed on higher grade glossy art paper but only one side is printed, then followed by the normal paper. After all, they are meant to be burnt, so whether it is printed nicely or not doesn’t really bother anyone. As Itchyfingers, I would always look at the design of each denomination before burning them and would be fascinated by the many variety. As much as I would like to keep a sample of each design, I also dun wanna risk getting scoldings from my family….hahah…Most people would consider that as unauspicious.
But Itchyfingers still managed to snap a piece of the lower grade money…
Some other designs include those of birds, fish and even children. A pity Itchyfingers couldn’t keep any of those without anyone noticing cos they are really big in size…the biggest so far is more than a normal A4 paper in length! Wow how to keep all these huge notes in wallets hor…:p Well, the creative Chinese always have an answer for that…
For those who have never seen these interesting notes for the deads, here’s a link to see some examples.
Tags: Arts, Museum
Words of Caution: The following post offers a chance to let your imagination run wild, er, if you have any…Certainly not recommended for those faint hearted. Itchyfingers would not be held responsible if anyone starts to get recurring nightmares…:p
One of the many works that struck me was the one titled “Caretaker”, which took reference from the Japanese-American diplomatic relation in the 20th century. With the arrival of many Japanese immigrants to the United States in the early 1900s, a project to ease the tension and conflict was inititated. Named “Friendship Doll Project“, the Americans raised funds and bought dolls to send to the children of Japan as a goodwill gesture in 1927. These “Blue-Eyed Dolls” arrived just in time for the Japanese annual Doll Festival. In response, the Japanese sent 58 specially-commissioned Friendship Dolls dressed in traditional kimonos to the US.
Sadly, when the World World II began, these dolls in both countries were perceived as symbols of the enemy, and many were burned and destroyed. Luckily, some were saved because people remembered the message of friendship.
In “Caretaker”, the artist took us to a space with half-opened cupboard doors. A custodian of this space, we were able to peep into his world of personal belongings, not knowing that we were actually the ones unable to escape his from watchful eyes…
One really got a little shock looking at what was inside the cupboard…
Faces of different dolls displayed neatly on the doors of the cupboards.
Somehow the look of these dolls were kinda eerie…especially in old
black and white pictures and under the dim lighting. Without flash,
most pictures turned out blurred like this one, adding on to the ghostly feel…
See! Some of these dolls looked seriously eerie! Someone remarked
that they reminded her of the old movie, “Chucky”!
Oh my goodness…it just made me feel like they were coffins of the dolls, which looked uncannily like dead children! Being itchyfingers, I lifted one of the boxes to check with it was ‘occupied’ by any ‘bodies’ of the dolls….Nope, none inside, or maybe just spirits…? There was silence except the tickings from the old alarm clock…the mocked computer touch screens were left perpetually on the same menu page…everything seemed to be on a standstill…