What can art about death tell us about life?
Death is, in some ways, the greatest mystery of life. Almost every culture formulates its own ideas, however amorphous, as to what happens to the individual after death. Often, those ideas are bound up with cultural expectations and behavioral ideals to which the living person is subject. In other words, one’s conduct in life will determine the nature of his or her experiences in death. Both the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts scroll and the Triumph of Death were very much intended as images that would prompt their viewers to consider their values in this world and contemplate what might follow.