Saturday, June 16, 2007

Making an Indelible Impression

This is a 27 year-old guy surnamed Wu. If he wore a shirt and pants you'd never know underneath his body was covered in tattoos.

But here is he is showing off his body art in front of an exhibition on tattoos in a warehouse district where avant-garde artists show their work.

Wu got his first tattoo, a swirl of black thorns on his left shoulder when he was 17 and was hooked ever since. So far Wu has spent over 8,000RMB (US$1050) on beautifying his body. There's also a detailed black ink drawing of a Chinese dragon wrapped around his right arm.

At first his parents were horrified by their son's obsession with being pierced with ink, but perhaps because it's indelible, they have accepted it.

In fact on his back is an elaborate design with ancient Chinese characters like a poem. Wu says it's dedicated to his mom, but doesn't want to explain any further. Maybe it's the Chinese version of "I Love My Mom".

Inside a Chinese punk rock band was loudly airing its angst while fellow tattooed friends admired each others' designs and proudly posed for pictures.

Another 19 year-old girl had a design of an evil-looking character with bulging eyes on her back. Petite and stylish, she said she just liked the design and had it done. Her parents disapproved about her having a tattoo, but she claimed it was her right to do what she wanted with her body.

Most had sleeves, tattoos covering their arms, or legs, and young women had designs on their backs. One guy had his face covered in a celtic-like design.

They didn't mind non-tattooed visitors gawking or taking pictures. Perhaps it's their way of getting attention in a society where the majority are too traditional to rock the boat.

No comments: