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To Mr. Cheng

On the last post, some of you wondered what kind of objects can be sent through mail. Well, here's a cool project that tests the limits of postal services (and their patience too!): To Mr. Cheng.

Artist Eric Ericson, from Sweden, spent a few years sending all kinds of unwrapped objects through the mail: food, a skeleton, a baby doll, books, vinyl records, a pair of glasses, individual playing cards... you name it.

The result is a fascinating minimalist website and book (published in Sweden but we hope they make it available in Amazon soon!).

to mr cheng

to mr cheng

to mr cheng

to mr cheng

Here's what the artist had to say on a recent interview with Wired magazine:

Wired.com: You have previously published books of letters, for example one where you sent letters with odd ideas to authorities, like asking a Swedish municipality if it could host a North American Indian tribe. Why are you so fascinated by letters?
Ericson: Sending things is a fun way to communicate, and I love the seriousness in letters. I mean, you would never receive a lawsuit by e-mail. There is something about letters, especially nowadays when they are getting more and more rare, and we’re communicating in other ways instead.

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Posted by on 4 Jun, 2009
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26 comments so far

brihannah, Australia
this is fascinating. i'm surprised some postal workers didn't say no when weighing some of these items.
Posted by brihannah on 4 Jun, 2009


wexfor, Slovakia
wow. i will try it.
Posted by wexfor on 4 Jun, 2009


ammy, Singapore
Wait, did they actually get delivered??? Wow. Makes you wonder why my simple little postcards can't even get properly delivered then.
Posted by ammy on 4 Jun, 2009


geminiscp, Portugal
OMG! And I thought I had seen enough weird things in my life! :D This is super!!!
Posted by geminiscp on 4 Jun, 2009


Jon, United States of America
This is the most frightening thing I have ever seen. I love it.
Posted by Jon on 4 Jun, 2009


heyjude, United States of America
It used to be possible to send a whole coconut unpackaged, just a mail label and postage attached. In the 1990s a friend did send one to her US grandkids from Tonga. But I think the US postal service no longer allows that.
Posted by heyjude on 4 Jun, 2009


ultramania, United States of America
This is the most amusing thing I've seen this week.
Posted by ultramania on 4 Jun, 2009


Mama_Bear, United States of America
My post office would never allow it. I dread my trips in there they are such unhappy, unfriendly people. They love to say NO! I would love to receive a mystery can of food! Haha!
Posted by Mama_Bear on 5 Jun, 2009


anagahan, Macedonia
this is soooo über-cool! Im actually amazed to see that the post offices had allowed sending things like this. I honestly would never have the guts to come to the post-counter and hand in something as the above...they already think im weird enough for sending huge piles of mail :)
But this is amusing and i would love to see more of this project in the future!
Posted by anagahan on 5 Jun, 2009


ritacyc, Taiwan
this is soooo cool!!.....
Posted by ritacyc on 5 Jun, 2009


ylchewserena, Malaysia
This is really funny. I wonder what the postman who had delivered the skull thought of his 'delivery'. I would feel real weird if I were to deliver something like that.
Posted by ylchewserena on 5 Jun, 2009


Eyris, United Kingdom
fantastic!!
Posted by Eyris on 6 Jun, 2009


blauauge, Germany
Really funny! I've also tested to send some thinks but not so big ones. A piece of toast e.g. or a cd. It works!
Posted by blauauge on 6 Jun, 2009


Milly91, France
In France, this is called "mail-art". A lot of artists and poet send such "art of work". Congratulations Mr Cheng.
Posted by Milly91 on 7 Jun, 2009


Roz1025, United States of America
I once sent 20 oz. soda bottles filled with confetti and streamers, a small house (3D) a rubber stamped image on cardstock that was colored & cut out and folded into shape...oh and a pair of groucho glasses. There were 12 bottles sent across the states to some music fans on the 'Net. Everyone loved 'em.
Posted by Roz1025 on 7 Jun, 2009


saffron55, Canada
I'm feeling like I need to send something "unusual"..:)
Posted by saffron55 on 8 Jun, 2009


azzucoloto, Brazil
I love this convencional way to communicate! Letters and cards in general are unique.
Posted by azzucoloto on 8 Jun, 2009


ekolter, United States of America
I once received a plastic water bottle filled with confetti and a bunch of odd and ends with a letter. Best mail I've ever gotten.
Posted by ekolter on 10 Jun, 2009


Ania_Postcrossing, Poland
In Poland you would not manage to run this project - they do not accept mail that is not wrapped in paper. Nice idea anyway ;)
Posted by Ania_Postcrossing on 10 Jun, 2009


joca68, Portugal
Cool idea!!! Unfortunatelly not possible in Portugal, as no unpackaged item gets accepted, except postcards, of course!!!
Posted by joca68 on 13 Jun, 2009


anettespostcards, Sweden
Oh, I have to buy this book, sounds fun!

As mentioned above, Eric Ericsson has written books about/with letters, before he "wrote" Mr Cheng. They are called "Brev till samhället" (Letters to society) and "Brev till utlandet" (Letters to abroad). They are both great and really funny and I'm sure you will love them if you like sending/receiving things like letters and postcards (and don't we all here like that?:)

The first one is in Swedish and it's about Eric Ericsson sending strange letters to organizations and companies in Sweden asking wierd things. It's hilarious.

The second one is the same thing, but in English. This time, he is sending letters to companies and organizations outside Sweden. One of the funny things in both of the books are to read the answers from the people he sends the letters to.

Even if "Brev till utlandet" is in English (no idea to write letters in Swedish to people abroad...), I'm not sure if it's sold outside Sweden. But if you are living in Finland, Norway or Denmark you can buy it online (adlibris).


Posted by anettespostcards on 14 Jun, 2009


florencen, Australia
obviously a man with too much time on his hands.
I hate staples.Ever handled a parcel and ripped your hand open.Ever had to dry mail out because someone sent a liquid or something in substandard packaging.spare a thought to those who handle this stuff on a daily basis.Just a thought if your post office is an unfriendly sort of place try get to know them you may be the ice breaker.if that doesn't work find another post office.....
Posted by florencen on 17 Jun, 2009


scandalous, United States of America
My grandfather whom is not an artist, once was trying to get a trailer hitch on my dads convertible. To do this task he had to saw off a muffler, which he did. In black permanent marker, he wrote my dads address and slapped some stamps on it.
The picture is somewhere in our family archives and my dad did receive the package. I plan on doing this with various objects to my friend in Scotland. What an awesome project. Can't wait to get the books.
Posted by scandalous on 29 Jun, 2009


clarasaurusrex, United States of America
I can't wait to see the book! Maybe I'll do something like this someday. Quite amazing!!!
Posted by clarasaurusrex on 8 Jul, 2009


interwebz, Croatia
Crazy O_O,I can't believe that some post offices actually send these objects!!!Is Mr.Cheng going to use all this :D
Posted by interwebz on 11 Jul, 2009


Shwaya, Russia
super! surprised! funny :-)
Posted by Shwaya on 31 Jul, 2009



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