Monday, February 15, 2010

Two mountains

I was already finding the repetitive images in these stamps a little disturbing even before I figured out what they were. The topography in the background of the 5 centavo and 10 centavo stamps is symbolic, not real, as it places Mt. Fuji in Japan in juxtaposition with Mt. Mayon on the island of Luzon, roughly 2,000 miles to the south. The stamps were, in fact, issued by the Japanese government for use during the occupation of the Philippines during the Second World War. The original sheets were larger, but as parts of multiple rows have been removed I've cropped the images square for the web.

Like most postage stamps, the ones above were designed to be separated and put to use one or two at a time, but somehow their sinister uniformity when viewed like this speaks volumes about the aspirations of conquerors and empires, in any era.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

amazing rhythm, they have when placed together like that