The ArtCat calendar is closed as of December 31, 2012. Please visit Filterizer for art recommendations.


If it Rains in Heaven

Jen Bekman Gallery
6 Spring Street, between Elizabeth St. and Bowery, 212-219-0166
East Village / Lower East Side
January 28 - March 4, 2012
Reception: Friday, January 27, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Egyptian pharaohs entombed themselves with their riches, Chinese emperors were buried with effigies of their armies—but a Ferrari for the afterlife?

In Case It Rains In Heaven documents 16 images of the curious Chinese modern-day practice of Joss paper offerings for the deceased. As Kurt Tong relates, in Chinese culture, many believe that the dead are unable to carry their possessions with them. It is therefore up to their ancestors and loved ones to properly equip them for the afterlife. The practice has evolved from simple “spirit money” offerings to modern-day items ranging from bizarre to pragmatic and each painstakingly made of paper. An umbrella, sushi, a bird cage, a Ferrari and a snorkel set are just a few of the offerings Tong documented and later burnt in a ceremony for his ancestors. The practice of Joss paper offerings has been outlawed in China, yet the custom continues to be tolerated due to its deep roots in Chinese culture. The photographs in this exhibition are shot in front of a simple black backdrop, allowing the offerings to speak for themselves.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcat16038 to see them here.