Paper effigies, similarly referred to as ‘paper offerings’ or ‘joss paper’, are facsimiles of everyday items constructed out of paper. The term encompasses the multitude of paper replicas available, ranging from daily necessities and houses to branded goods and aeroplanes. The Chinese believe that departed loved ones live on in another world while their spirits remain with the living. Therefore, paper effigies are sacrificed through burning to transcend into the afterlife to provide material comfort for the deceased. In exchange, venerated ancestors give their blessings to the living.

This symbolic practice assumes a surprisingly rational way of thinking to cope with grief, contrary to its mystical façade. It serves as a balm to our hearts and embodies a genuine act of love and remembrance. The beauty of the custom unfolds itself as a precious platform to extend the relationship and interaction with your loved ones after their death. “明冥之中 (To: The Other World)” relates to the intrinsic significance of the age-old custom to re-introduce and re-present it. The work looks at life after death for both the living and departed. It is at once an imagination of the afterlife and an appreciation of the custom.

明冥之中 (To: The Other World)
Shannon Sim


180 pages
24 x 18 x 1.9 cm

Edition of 2