Supermarket of the Dead

Supermarket of the Dead : Fire Offerings in China and the Cult of Globalised Consumption

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In a longstanding Chinese folk custom, paper replicas of money and goods are ritually burned as offerings to win the favor of ancestors, gods and spirits. In more recent years, replicas of traditional objects have been supplanted by emulations of Western consumer products--Gucci bags, Prada shoes, Louis Vuitton suitcases, Chanel accessories, mobile phones, Apple computers and even Heineken beer cans and life-size cars--which are committed to the flames as a tribute to the ancestors. Wolfgang Scheppe's three-volume Supermarket of the Dead, accompanying a presentation of these objects at the Dresden Royal Palace, showcases this mass of familiar yet alien commodities. Confronted with this bizarre evidence of the vast market for such goods, we see how quickly Chinese society has become oriented to a global economy, while linking it to a ritual going back at least 1,300 years.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 684 pages
  • 156 x 210 x 63.5mm | 505g
  • Cologne, Germany
  • English
  • 480 colour illustrations
  • 3863357167
  • 9783863357160
  • 1,009,646