Burning Hope

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Course Instructor

Joshua Comaroff

Student Involved

Sng Ei Jia

About the Project

The ancient, esoteric custom of burning paper effigies during religious rites derives from embodied Chinese beliefs that continuity exists between the world of the living and the dead.

The custom has played a significant cultural role at death until recently and is now unfortunately threatened with disappearance. This traditional craft is also being replaced gradually by technological developments and the lack of skilled craftsmen.

By comparing the techniques and designs of traditional and contemporary paper effigies, Sng Ei Jia’s M.Arch thesis aims to suggest a new method for creating ceremonial paper-house offerings for the deceased.