Artist Mark Soppeland’s inspiration for House of Spirits came from a 30-year collection of mail art and an ancient Indonesian custom.
Mail art was a popular art form in the 1960s. Artists would send visual art, music, sound and poetry through the international postal system instead of displaying their works in a gallery because they believed that the commercial gallery was limited and possibly corrupt.
Soppeland combined the artistic concept of mail art with the Indonesian custom and spiritual belief of spirit houses to create his riverbox. Indonesian beliefs state that when people move into a new home they disturb the natural world. In order to re-balance the natural surroundings, residents must build a smaller, more detailed model house on the property, known as a spirit house. The spirit house is a sign of respect and is meant to shelter and appease the displaced spirits.
Spirit Houses – Thailand (video)
Build your own Spirit House