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Throughout human history, the concept of ‘paradise’ has been perceived as the ideal environment, whether earthly or celestial. The search for this place of perfection has never quite stopped preoccupying our minds. When we search for the roots of our collective idea of utopia, religion is an easy place to point at. However, the roots of this concept are more complex and developed from our childhood cravings for familial safety, ideas of beauty and prosperity as much as from those connecting to religion and salvation. This is how our concept of promised land came to get shaped by key ideas like innocence, simplicity, happiness, and abundance. 


Interestingly, paradise is almost always depicted in some form of garden or park where humans, animals and nature exist in perfect beauty, abundance, and harmony. This formula has been explored through many forms of arts and sciences, from literature, film, philosophy, architecture, and urban planning to design. 


The idea of this promised land holds an even stronger pull today as we long for safety against the startling unfolding of life. This set of postcards captures some facets of our collective concept of paradise. It includes an 1890 photograph of Sri Lanka by Kurt Boeck, a 1792 Ceylonese bird illustration by Aert Schouman and an 1860 Sri Lankan outrigger canoe photograph from the archives of Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. An 1893 drawing from a handbook of the flora of Ceylon and a 1911 photograph by George Francis Elliot are also part of this set of postcards. Each includes details of the image that it depicts. Some people use these postcards to share stories with friends via snail mail; some put them up on walls as framed art.

Promised land: Set of 5 postcards

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