Pamela See
For tomorrow’s ancestors… cotton 2019
Arches watercolour paper
Redland Art Gallery Collection. Acquired in 2021 with Redland Art Gallery Acquisition Funds.
Courtesy of the artist.
Photography by Carl Warner.

This series of papercut paper effigies continues Pamela See’s interest in narratives of adaption, survival and reinvention. Paper effigies became prevalent in China during the 6th century. In an attempt to deter thieves they replaced the real objects that were used as offerings in burial sites.

See’s work references ancestral worship and the traditional objects that were used – sandalwood flower, ginseng and cotton. By creating paper replacements, See also raises concerns about environmental degradation and the never-ending task of replacing finite resources with something new. She asks, What objects might tomorrow’s ancestors desire in the afterlife? Will these objects continue to exist in this life?