From the author of 'Heavenly Bodies' and 'The Empire of Death comes Memento Mori. 'From bone-filled burial caves in Indonesia to smoking skulls in Bolivia, photographer Paul Koudounaris’s macabre images of decorative human remains and ossuaries reveal that, in many parts of the world, the dead remain among us. Memento Mori by Paul Koudounaris is published by Thames & Hudson on 16 March.
Koudounaris is a gifted narrator, vividly recounting the stories and traditions that lie behind his ghoulish but beautiful photographs, which reveal that in many places, the realms of the living and the dead are nowhere near so distinct as Western society would have us believe.
|Sedlec ossuary in Sedlec, Czech Republic|
|One of many skulls - or Ñatitas - found in homes in La Paz, Bolivia. They are used as good luck charms|
|Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome|
|St Pancratius, Church of St Nicholas, Wil, Switzerland|
|A smoking skull in a home in La Paz, Bolivia|
|A decorative skull in the Ruamkatanyu Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Capuchin monastery, Burgio, Sicily|
|Sicilian mummy from Burgio, Gangi|
|Oppenheim ossuary, Oppenheim, Germany|
|Konrad II, Basilica Minor of St Michael, Mondsee, Austria|
|Mummified Buddhist monk Luang Por Ruam, Wat Kiriwongkaram, Koh Samui, Thailand|
ALL photos credit to Paul Koudounaris