Matchboxes from the Subcontinent

#79 Collector

Walking around Bangalore city where I live, one comes across matchboxes everywhere. Cheap and disposable, they litter the highways and footpaths, often to be found scattered around any roadside chai stall, cigarette kiosk or dhaba. In my travels across India I have collected over 500 matchboxes. Each design has come to signify a personal memory. Collectively, the visible scars of the battered boxes tell a story, mapping the places I have been and the experiences I have had. The visuals that adorn this ongoing collection include historical and religious iconography, Indian pop culture, appropriated western imagery, mundane objects, and various animals. As an outsider, the disparate juxtapositions created through this series of designs have come to encapsulate quite perfectly the heterogeneous and hybrid visual culture of modern India.

The full collection can be viewed at: http://www.matt-lee.com/index.php?/photos/indian-matchboxes/