Artist Transforms iPhone Into Modern Soldier Tribute
A leading New York based New Zealand photographer Henry Hargreaves, has created a new art series featuring Vietnam War style messages on mobile phones.
In his new series “War Phones”, Hargreaves worked with a prop stylist and designed updated “vignettes,” featuring smartphones engraved the with messages found on original Vietnam Zippos.
During the Vietnam War 1955 – 1975 nearly all US soldier carried a Zippo lighter, with Zippo Manufacturing Company having an exclusive contract with the U.S. military.
“As the soldiers were initially forbidden from modifying the exterior of their uniform they would use engrave their lighters to express their feelings and sentiments,” Hargreaves told the NZ Herald.
Many soldiers chose to engrave their Zippos with phrases, some of them gutting and sincere, others as self-consciously macho as an “I heart Mom” tattoo engulfed in inked flames.
Hargreaves’ work features peace symbols and inscriptions like, ‘May God have mercy on my enemies, because I won’t’, ‘Hearts and Minds’, ‘I’m sure to go to heaven because I’ve spent my time in hell’, and ‘Iraq 2003 – 2009 – No better option?’.
Hargreaves decided to recreate the Vietnam Zippos with the same sayings, but replacing Vietnam with Iraq and Afghanistan, and updating the cigarette lighters to phones, which he imagined would now be the soldiers’ closest personal possession.
The project is meant to link the past to the present.
“Even though time is passing, the same thing is still being felt,” Hargreaves says. “We’re still getting into these mindless conflicts. Nothing has been learnt.”
Hargreaves went to school at Christ’s College in Christchurch, and has completed many exhibitions including one of to-go coffee cups from cafes around the world.
Original story published on The Huffington Post.