Tattoo: Religion, believe and its meaning in India

The following writing and pictures are compiled from various sources.

 

The Indian culture is penetrated by clerical symbolism. Colors, numbers and designed or from nature adapted shapes are used for cultural coherence same as for banal symbols.  Scientists have observed the higher caste and social position of the women, the smaller and canny are the designs.  As worshippers of Vishnu and Shiva, the two big Hindu divinities, or follower of a teaching which places the principles of the female energy above everything, Indians wear a tattooed or sometimes burned in point on their forehead, the only place on the body not bedraggled by any excrement, which coloration shows the wearers affiliation to the different religious communities.  The point called Bindi stands for the ‘Third Eye’, the connection between the earthly live and the divine beyond.  The wearer of this mark is hoping for the blessing of the god worshipped by him.

 

Not less important were the ornaments described by Marco Polo who traveled through India in the 13th century.  Even Indian divinities carried tattoos.  According to the legend

Vishnu drew a tattoo on the hand of his wife Lakshmi for protection.  Tattoos were mostly more of a female matter anyway and sometimes it was even a disgrace for a girl not to be tattooed.  In central India, the mothers of the groups of the Muria and Maria applied extensive tattoos on their daughters during puberty using sharp iron needles and black charcoal dust.  And very often traditional patterns also decorated from the kino tree which contained a tanning agent and milk or urine.  The tatauing process was very painful but was bravely sustained by girls and women.

 

In country sides of northern India and Nepal, suchlike body decorations are kept up together with the traditional coherency although it is not naturally for every family to have their children tattooed. 

 

The Ramnaamis, or Ramupasaks as they call themselves, are a sect of people considered to be untouchables in India.  They worship, and sing and dance the praises of Ram, the quintessential man of Hindu tradition. They have faith in the power of his name and recite and swear by the Ram Charitra Manas, a scripture that combines ethical values with the spiritual beauty of poetry. They neither maintain a temple nor worship an idol. The Ramnaamis are of a tribal origin.  They are scattered across the states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in India.  These are a staunch devout of Lord Rama and they get his name engraved on their body in Sanskrit.  They get Ram’s name engraved on almost all the practically possible corner of their skin even on their tounges and inside their lips.

 

indisk_hindu_kvinde1

 

Ramnaamis began their extraordinary custom during the Hindu reformist movement of the 19th century when they angered the upper-caste Brahmins by adopting Brahminical customs. To protect themselves against the Brahmins’ wrath, the Ramnaamis tattooed the name of Lord Ram on their bodies. About 1,500 strong today, the Ramnaami community still practices this painful rite, which is as much a demonstration of devotion as a talisman against persecution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

indisk_kvinde_fra_junagadh1

With a rich tradition and thousands of Deities, Hinduism itself is today the source of countless tattoo designs. Tattoos depicting popular Gods such as Shiva, Ganesha and Kali or sacred symbols like “Om” adorn the flesh of Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Some of the most elaborate tattoo patterns anywhere are on the women of the Ribari tribe of Kutch, the very region in northwest India just devastated by an earthquake. It is one of the places to which the Pandavas were exiled during the Mahabharata. The members of the nomadic Ribari tribe live as their ancestors did; their tattoos being tangible symbols of the people’s strong spirit and concern with faith and survival.

 

 

pondicherry_india11

Tato yang kehilangan penggemar

cimg1900Ditulis oleh Febrianti

Bagian dari tulisan Sungai Silaoinan, Suatu Hari

Tempo, 29 Maret 2009

 

Lihatlah pemuda itu.  Di lengan kirinya ada tato burung elang, dan tepat dibawahnya tampak gambar sepotong tangan.  Dadanya dihiasi tato sarang laba-laba dan sketsa perempuan telanjang.  Tato si pemuda berbeda sekali denga sikerei (dukun dan ahli tumbuhan obat) yang duduk disebelahnya.

 

Tato sang sikerei lebih indah dan simetris.  Kedua lengan, mulai dari bahu hingga siku, dihiasi tato morif spiral dan motif gelang di lengan sebelah bawah.  Sedangkan bagian dada dengan motif garis-garis lengkung, ditambah dengan garis lengkung di pinggul dan garis-garis mendatar di paha dan betis.

 

‘Ini gambar tato zaman sekarang, kalau itu sudah kuno,’ kata Anto Satoinong, 20 tahun, membandingkan tatonya dengan tato yang melekat di tubuh sikerei Sadodolu Sabailati, 70 tahun disebelahnya.  Persamaannya, kedua tato itu dibuat dengan tekhik dan peralatan yang sama kunonya, menggunakan jarum yang dicelupkan ke air tebu dan jelaga.

 

Sadodulu Sabailati menyayangkan pendapat sang pemuda.  Menurut dia, titi (sebutan untuk tato) adalah budaya Mentawai dan bentuknya lebih bagus dan punya arti.  Namun ia mengaku hanya tinggal generasinya yang menggunakan titi.

 

‘Anak-anak saya juga tidak ada yang mau ditato, karena melihat banyak orang luar yang tidak memakai tato dan merasa tato kuno.  Selain itu, mereka tidak ditato karena rasanya sakit,’ kata Sadodolu.  Ia sendiri ditato saat masih remaja.  Ketika itu semua tubuh lelaki dan perempuan berhias tato sebagai ganti pakaian.

 

‘Membuat titi ini butuh waktu berhari-hari dan berdarah.  Apalagi kalau dibawa mandi rasanya sakit sekali.  Ada juga yang pingsan saat dibuat titi,’ kata Sadodolu.

 

Tradisi bertato memang mulai ditinggalkan di Siberut, seiring dengan pengaruh dunia luar.  Menurut Urlik Tatubeket, Ketua Dewan Pengurus Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Peduli Mentawai, tato tidak hanya dikenal di Siberut, tetapi di semua kepulauan Mentawai lainnya seperti di Sipora, Pagai Utara dan Pagai Selatan.  Tetapi disana tradisi tato sudah duluan hilang sejak 1950 – an.

 

‘Sejak tahun 1950-an, setelah pemerintah mewajibkan penduduk harus memeluk salah satu dari lima agama besar yang diakui pemerintah, orang Mentawai tak lagi menghias tubuhnya dengan tato, kecuali di beberapa kampong pedalaman di Siberut,’ kata Urlik.

Protestan, yang masuk ke Mentawai sejak 1901, menurut Urlik, merupakan agama yang paling keras melarang kepercayaan Arat Sabulungan yang dianut orang Mentawai.  Tato dianggap bagian dari kepercayaan itu, karena selama mengerjakannya disertai dengan punen patiti atau upacara penatoan.

 

‘Saya masih ingat waktu kecil ada orang Mentawai bertato yang diusir dari jemaat oleh pendeta,’ kata Urlik yang juga pendeta GKPM (Gereja Kristen Protestan Mentawai) Saurenuk, Pulau Sipora, dan tidak memiliki tato. ‘ Selain itu, orang Mentawai yang bersekolah keluar daerah juga tidak mau menato dirinya karena takut dianggap primitif.’

 

Terlepas dari itu, sebenarnya tato tradisional Mentawai adalah khazanah dunia.  Ady Rosa, peneliti tato Indonesia dari jurusan Seni Rupa Universitas Negeri Padang, menyimpulkan bahwa Tato Mentawai termasuk tato tertua di dunia karena seni tato mulai dikenal di Mentawai sejak orang Mentawai datang tahun 1500 sampai 500 sebelum Masehi.  Mereka adalah suku bangsa protomelayu yang datang dari Yunan, kemudian berbaur dengan budaya Dongson.

 

‘Tato di Siberut sudah jauh sebelum bangsa Mesir mulai membuat tato sekitar tahun 1300 sebelum Masehi.  Jadi bukan tato Mesir yang tertua di dunia, tapi tato Mentawai,’ kata Ady Rosa.  Menurut Ady, ada sekitar 160 motif tato yang ada di Siberut.  Masing-masing berbeda.  Setiap orang Mentawai, baik laki-laki maupun perempuan, bisa memakai belasan tato di sekujur tubuhnya.

 

Ada tiga fungsi tato bagi orang Mentawai.  Pertama sebagai tanda kenal wilayah dan kesukuan.  Ini tergambar lewat tato utama, semacam kartu tanda penduduk.  Lalu sebagai status sosial dan profesi.  Motif yang digambarkan tato ini menjelaskan apa profesi si pemakai, misalnya sikerei, pemburu binatang, atau orang awam.  Ketiga, sebagai hiasan tubuh atau keindahan.  Ini tergambar lewat mutu dan kekuatan ekspresi si pembuat tato melalui gambar-gambar yang indah.

 

the_mentawai_21artzfpncazgf8rycaqib9ztcax4sp0qca7j5680caa7cw7ocaj1965rcaos47ezcaix2wfpcajnuzsaca13014ucap8lwrhcaw7cz6lcaroin80catkkgzbcayv0iuicappxowvcasn0sccab05gogca3won0cca971n0ecat4mt6pca244lrbcaq0urbaca0gymdwcae5rtabcaavy214caefysjhca6e4t1rca8p95i2cacm95b0ca3ql6rycaogez13cabipu3ecasx45l2caesiqae

THE (REAL) FREAK SHOW IN SYDNEY (Mar09) – Part 2

A JOURNAL

sydtattoobanner1

 

After almost 2.5 months of preparation, the time has come for the BIG show!  Step by step of preparation was done carefully, from things to bring, to things to display, things to put in the booth, things we can rent, buy or supplied from Sydney.  The night before our departure, our place looked like a war zone. 

 

Departing Jakarta (04Mar)

 

We took everything we brought from Jakarta with us, nothing were shipped.  Just wanted to make sure that we have everything we need altogether.  Between the two of us, there were 2 suitcases, 2 hard cases (gigantic and small ones), 3 carton boxes (working tray, arm rest, t-shirt merchandises), 1 roll for banners and poster.  Total up to 95 kilos, just 55 kilos overweight – with another 10 kilos discount, we paid a hefty sum of dues for the remaining 45.

 

We stopped by boring Singapore and experienced Changi Terminal 3.. still boring and anxious to get to the evening flight to Sydney, we managed to do 30-minutes reflexology.

 

Sleeping in the aeroplane was never been easy for me.  My beloved one slept like a log, or at least, he pretended well to do so. So for me, it was docu-film fest all night, while dozing on and off.

 

Pre-Expo (05Mar)

 

Arrived early at Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney and smoothly went through custom with no hiccups.  Only must pay duty tax for all the merchandised t-shirts, relatively small value. 

 

We jumped on a maxi cab, which drove us to Australian Sunny Lodge on 485 King Street, Newtown.  This whole time, lugging in and out.. good exercise though!  The stuff that Gary shopped for us were waiting at the reception.  Glenn came around 9.30ish for breakfast and coffee at the neighboring café.  The weather was fresh, little bit of humidity hanging there.  We got Agus’ room open to rest. 

 

By lunch time we went down to 3store in QVB for prepaid SIMs for our phone and mobile internet.  We went straight back to Newtown to prepare for the expo loading.

 

Another heart pumping experience happened, because we missed our maxi cab booking and had to order 2 ordinary taxis, at the peak hour.  I did not remember the traffic jam in Sydney was that bad!  It took us ages, not to mention that my taxi driver did not know the shortest route to the venue.  The cost: phenomenal.  God help us! 

 

The kids were there with trolley and Health & Safety vests when we arrived at the Showground Hall 4.  We went straight to booth 87. Agus and crew were there too.  Putting them all up together, our booth was ready within 1.5hours.  Some of the other participants were there.  All of the rented tools (massage table, massage chair, 2 working stools) were there.  Afterwards, we split and went back by train to Newtown.. conserve energy.. we ate Australian Vietnamese at Vin Loi.  Nothing special, only anxiety! 

 

  

Day 1 (06Mar)

 

Good breakfast at Anise on King Street, bought some stuff at the Chemist, before we hit by train to Olympic Park.  We had company at the Dome, where Craft Festival was also on.. totally different crowd, I must say.

 06032009108

 

The show was officially open at 12 noon and the excitement continued until 10pm.  150 booths, more than 8 countries of tattoo, piercing, scarification artists gathered in this expo.  Life band, burlesque show, tattoo-of-the-day contest were all happening one after the other.  Media coverage was all over the place, one of them Inner West Weekly, will put it up on their website as well on print.

 

Auburn Council for Health came about for their daily check on compliance to health regulations for skin penetration.  We passed and certified! Yay…

 

I managed to sneak to the Craft Show during my lunch break.  Can only think of Vivi and how she would get crazy with all these interesting stuff from scrapbook, card making, jewelry, knitting, Russian doll, candle making, quilting, patching… I walked past like a whirlwind.. promised myself to comeback the next day.

 

There were more people coming in the evening and both Agus and Durga finally got their first two clients.  For Agus, it was a skull tattoo on the feet; for Durga, a Borneo Dayak dragon dog for a first-timer.  Both of the artists were immediately on their feet from drawing it from scratch to make a stencil for them to ready to go.  They were buddies of 3, the other one was cheering on the sideline.

 

060320091170603200911406032009115 

 

Durga put up a slide show on the hand-tapping session done for TidJels.  The crowd could only be amazed!

 

CEO represented by both Mike and Richard Sedins were really helpful and quick to act should there be assistance required.  They came also yesterday during the loading hours.

 

It was a long day for all of us.  We went home by cab on a rowdy Friday evening in Newtown.  We settled for Thai food, because we must have rice!  We ate at the hotel lobby with Agus and Dede.  Well deserved.

 

Day 2 (07Mar)

 

A courtyard breakfast at Anise.  Big day today, big tattoo appointment coming up.  We arrived relatively early to open our booth.  We need to prepare the massage table, pillows for support and covered them for this big Paisley design. 

 

Durga’s first appointment was an interview for Australian Ink magazine.  They took some pictures of him yesterday.  Then Leslie came for her rib to hip tattoo of an Indian paisley design.  It took a straight 6.5 hours of work.  The show was in full swing.  The crowd:  fantastic and real hard core!

 

cimg0010

 

The hand-tapping slide show was on again, the crowd went wild again.

 

The minute Leslie started, I went next door to Cambridge Body Arts from New Zealand for a silver fern tattoo on my inner right ankle.  I chose H2O aftercare also from a neighbouring booth, an Australian made.

 

A lot of people were asking for traditional hand-tapping, whether it can be done right there and then.  It was so tempting since day-1, but our booth was too small to spread out for hand-tapping.  We were thinking to do so next time around.  Leesa from Yakuza Tattoo Wollongong, and Scotty Doo, her husband, came a number of time to check out for this hand-tapping on her face. Yet she was 9 months pregnant and due the following week.  We did not want to take the risk.

 

 

f930b1a6d03d2a3a6dda5978e50bf5d3_resized1

 

Once finished, we went for a glass of wine at the café while discussing those lining up for next tattoo session.  We invited Raymon to come back for consultation that evening and agreed to re-design Hanoman, the Monkey god to be bone on his lower left thigh. 

 

There were more line up of people on the appointment list, which we would love to comeback to.  Perhaps some of them could be done within next week.. let’s see. 

 

We went home exhausted and drained on a train.. straight to find a quick bite at Ha Long Resto – a cross between Chinese Vietnamese resto just across our hotel.  Once back, Durga went straight to draw the Hanoman for Raymon until the wee hour.

 

Day 3 (08Mar)

 

Final day!  It opened at 11am… stream and stream of people would never end.  I managed to go around the ground.. to collect give aways, business cards, stickers and stuff.. while tried to meet up with some of the artists who already there and ready to roll for their last day.

 

s607919072_2295988_13030531s607919072_2295995_8305891Raymon arrived on time and got the work immediately for almost 2.5hours.  Afterwards, just chill out time.. before re-packing and re-loading the stuff again. 

 

The episode between us and the maxi cab continues… we had to wait for a while, under the drizzling rain before it came.  They sent the first one to showground in Moore Park.. who would go there for a show, except for playing or watching cricket!  Never mind, just let us go home.  We dropped by Queen street for the boys and straight to Newtown.

 

Departing Sydney (14Mar)

 

We got used to this maxi cab saga by now.. we ordered in advance.. and still experiencing some moronic disclaimer that ‘We cannot guarantee the delivery of maxi cab..’ well, helloow.. that’s why we booked in advance??!!  Checked in went smoothly.  Our checked in goods were 70 kilos, an overweight of 30.  Our unaccompanied baggage was managed by Qantas and weighted 50 kilos.  They will come latest by Monday of the following week at the cargo bay in Cengkareng.

 

 

POST MORTEM

 

We left Sydney with fondness and a sense that we’ve learned and achieved an important milestone not only on Durga’s career footprint, but also in our relations.  Things we would do or consider differently among others are size of our booth – it needs to be bigger, especially if we put more than 1 artists.  A special mobile tray should be constructed, can’t be like what we carried from home.  Too cumbersome and too heavy.  Hand-tapping would be the main attraction and key differentiator, thus it also relates to booth size. 

 

On the personal front, I feel that our bond is getting stronger and ready to take it to the next level. Let’s hope we can comeback even better and bigger next year!

 

PS: Here are the tatoos done outside the show.  They belong to Anne Warwick, a friend of Donna from work and my beloved Gary.  Gary scribbled his own design and proudly put it as his first permanent ink.

 

cimg0004cimg0001cimg0006

THE (REAL) FREAKSHOW IN SYDNEY (MAR09) – Part 1

TATTOOS SHOW A GREAT BODY OF WORK

Publications taken from Inner-West Weekly (11Mar09)

By Shireen Khalil

 

Many people cringe at the thought of getting a tattoo but they have become one of the most popular ways to express your inner art on the outer.

 

More than 150 tattoo artists from around the world landed at Sydney Olympic Park for the Sydney Tattoo and Body Art Expo.  The three-day event, which ended last Sunday, showcased the art of tattooing and brought together some of the best artists in the industry, including some from the US and Germany.

 

Tattoo artists at the expo said tattooing was more socially accepted today than in previous years and the more people educated themselves the more they appreciated the art.

 

Event organizer Richard Sedin said the expo was one of the largest tattoo events in the southern hemisphere.  ‘The event is about educating people about this fascinating industry – an art form that has become a major influence in our culture,’ Mr Sedin said.

 

Darwin tattoo artist Justine Hefel, who has cross-cultural and spiritual designs all over her body, said despite tattooing being a long and painful process at times, the result is worth it.

 

‘My first tattoo was of a dragon which takes up my entire back and took 17 hours to complete’ Ms Hefel said.  ‘It was a long process but the pain varies depending on where it is – if it’s over certain organs and tendons it does hurt,’ she said.

 

But hundreds of people were willing to embrace the pain at the expo while getting their favorite designs etched into their skin.

 

Melbourne tattoo artist Scott Jansen who was in the middle of getting a tattoo of a Japanese dragon, said the more tattoos you get, the less painful the process became.  The expo also featured bands, burlesque entertainment and a tattooing contest. 

8af0d7c2b820d406c30ed94878126602_resized1130cebce549583ecd21364a82114826ac_resized1e6497704ae00e124673072cba8f61e11_resized17b6fef21386559a790903ee16c8f0a67_resized1

Another Addition to the Signature of the Soul

The symbolism of growth and related elements of nature always attracts me, to be translated into a piece of art, called tattoo. 

 

While my Tree of Life is still ‘work in progress’, I cannot resist but to get a piece of it in the form of leave, a Silver Fern leave to be exact.  The placement is in the inside part of the ankle.. because I would like to also experience how painful it is to get one down there.

 

The fern is the national symbol of New Zealand, ranging from national sports team, to restaurant’s logo, to its origin Maori tribe.  You will find it widely use in New Zealand.

 

a1bpspjcaaiy17hcawgmar1carv08y1capd3q7kcalto2uncatu756mcao1hn9dcah3p25wcaglizyqcagioqc9ca79vrxvcaw58c5ecabz0fbqca55fmaica1znycbcamqgje0cam6s438afuakbycazj5n12cajpcs1pcazots3sca559muucazy5tmncazgpxiicavfg6x6caw3bfjocamsb4kucayo5fmfcalv2kvlcalzsjr6ca77xhlwca3vgyuhcanspz3rca7pq3udcaxg3hwx

 

 

 

 

 

So it happened during the 3-day Sydney Tattoo and Body Arts Expo in Sydney earlier this March 2009.  Cambridge BodyArts, our next door booth, originates from New Zealand, although the main tattoo artist, Peet van Dijk and his wife, Natascha, are Dutch in origin.  They are specializing in Maori Tribe tattoo designs, but also in various Oriental style flash. 

 

0a31dd421d3895d891b166922ec3aa92_resized1

 

It was a simple design of the fern and lasted for 1hour and 15 minutes for the process to take place.  But I found that it was the most painful place to get inked, with longest period to heal. Once you think of tattooing part of the body which is closest to the bone that is where the pain can be felt.  This time it was very stingy!

 

 

 

But one week later, I have forgotten how it felt during the process, only to look at such a beautiful piece of art permanently signed on a part of my body.

 

090320091232s534121684_1984741_70560741

The Freak Show was in town

It was the first tattoo show in Singapore from 9-11 January 2009 endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board.  There were more than 70 exhibitors from all over the world and about 15,000 visitors in the 3-day duration. 

n772148359_1194028_76501the-crowd2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the big names in tattoo world were Chris Garver (Miami Ink), which was also the ambassador for the show; Paul Booth and his side kick Xiao Lo from Last Rite, NY; Bob Tyrell from Night Gallery, Detroit.

 

bob-tyrell1paul-boothchris-garver-n-fans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There were so many talented artists and made my head and eyes dizzy with amazement.  Among my favorites is Jo Harrison from Birmingham, UK. Her style is very girly and unique.  jo-harrison-uk

Also Daniel Calypso from Belgium, which I would love to get mine.. but his schedule did not permit.  Next time, perhaps!  daniel-calypso-tattoo-belgium

 

 

 

 

 

The tattoo studios from China and Taiwan (Lion King, Night Action), they are amazing in their art sense and work. lion-king-taiwan-2 night-action-tattoo-taiwanThere were many more studios from Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Sarawak/Malaysia, Australia and host country, Singapore. 5 booths of talented Indonesian tattoo artists and studio, mostly from Jakarta participated, too. Among others:  Duff, Brisik, Indonesia SubCulture.duff-in-action

 

Interestingly, a saykan method was performed by one of the prominent tattoo master from Thailand.  It was the one who did Angelina Jolie upper back tattoo.  It was a bit like hand tapping, but using special tool of its own.  I observed that it was not cleanly processed and the master did not use a glove during tattooing.  It was one of the busiest booth during the show.

say-kan-thai-style

 

Among the long signing line done Chris Garver, Bob Tyrell and Paul Booth ran their workshops attended by young, eager tattoo artists from all over the place. 

 

It was not only the artists which became the attraction, it was also the almost exhibitionist visitors which were also the centre of this freakshow.  Well, as freaky as it could be.. according to my partner, it was considered as mild and not as wild as he would have imagined it would be…

 

We met friends of tattoo artist, tattoo lovers from Yogya, from Siem Reap (originally from Yogya, too), from Surabaya.. and found time to entertain and had fun in Jumbo Resto and into the wee hour in Geylang Kopi Tiam House.  cimg1873n772148359_1194021_15221s624980081_5525881_161611s37411266750_1724945_39331

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS:  In the aftermath of the freakshow, we stil hung around in the city-of-no imagination of Singapore.  Hey look who I found on the side street cafe sipping his latte.. it’s Chris Garver in flesh, so here it is…

 

chris-g-n-moi-paragon-sg

The recent Signature of the Soul

It is about Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation) and its daily-experience meaning as described by Swami Lalitananda in her book The Inner Life of Asanas. 

 

It is about its significance to me that everytime I begin my practice, Suryanamaskar is the first asana I have to face, I have to do, I have to experience.. And everytime, it is always different, depending on my emotional being.  But one thing for sure, after doing a series of Suryanamaskar A and B, it invigorates, it energizes, it helps me to transition to move on to the various poses. 

 

It helps to prepare my whole being, body, mind and soul, to begin the challenge of the practice, the challenge of the day.  From my drishti, my neck, my shoulder, my spine, my stomach, my buttock, my limbs, hands and feet start to tingle and feel the prana, the chakra warm up and moving up and down my body.

 

It is the first thing to do in the morning to salute the sun, but it also the first thing we have to do daily, which is to salute the day ahead, the gratitude to experience another journey.

 

It was designed using Vivaldi font, which I view as classic, yet quite ornamental in character.  The format is a continuous swirl at the beginning and at the end of the saying.  It’s a collaborative work done by Ajeng (Munir’s wife) and my partner to put the whole design together.

 

It was inked by Mas Munir, one of Indonesia’s best tattoo artist, resides in Yogyakarta. [See more about his studio, ToxicTattoo, in Sana Sini di Yogyakarta]  His work is wonderful, he is just Excellent!

 

It’s the most lovely holiday gift from my partner.

 

I end where I started, but something has changed.  Being willing to open, to release, to let the brightness of clarity to enter, I continue the journey to self understanding.  Bowing to the Light, I find freedom in recognizing that down is only part of the same cycle that can spiral me back up.  Let this new day begin.

suryanamaskar3suryanamaskardevil-is-in-the-detail

The latest signature of the soul

There is no other moment

A moment where the soul can be expressed

In a pure, bold and solid manner

Was when I got my second tat

A true expression

Om Mani Padme Hum

Is carried permanently

And brought into life

With a hope and blessing

That it can live its meaning

To the fullest.

 

Thanks Tashi & Durga

For an awesome, one of a kind

piece of art work!

 

01 August 2008

 

Meet the Durga

A friend referred his blog

Then I was in awe to look at his work and method

Hand-tapping tattoo is the most traditional way with

High level of difficulty and precision to do

 

All things Indonesian are his core:

Wayang, Javanese proverbs and characters, Indonesian tribals

Black and grey shades are his preference

He is totally unique

 

Then came the moment of truth

I had the chance to meet him

The man himself although named after a goddess

 

Durga is a global citizen

Come and go to every part of the world

His façade can be dominating

Yet he is humble and articulate

He wants to understand, connect, inquire and be precise

What does a tattoo mean, where to place and why

To his clients

This is why he only customized and does specialized design

Like mine

 

The next Signature of the Soul

There has been a lot of search, discussion and samples for my next tattoo design, which would either be a sun/mandala or Tibetan scripture to describe my tribal lotus, as posted before.  None of these actually meet my expectations.  At the end, I came across Ink Essential.  Tashi, a formal artist by training, is based out of UK. He then became a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan Karma Kagyu order.  He studied for the next 17 years under a Tibetan master of art, apprenticing in the elaborate art of temple decoration and Tibetan calligraphy. His knowledge and various sample of designs and calligraphy in Tibetan and Sanskrit , in the form of scriptures, mantra, ornaments are really appealing to me. He is not a tattooist, but a designer of tattoos, with a sacred knowledge, respect and concern for handsome but correctly formed tattoo design in this field.  

 

I have two designs drawn by Tashi.  The first one is Om Mani Padme Hum, which in free translation would mean ‘Hail to the jewel in the Lotus’. It denotes loving kindness, purification and protection. It should be placed high on the body and never below the waist, never backwards or upside-down.  It is written in Druscha style, it is considered as ornamental style in Tibetan.  It has long graceful lines and flamboyant gestures, typically used for artistic free style calligraphy, and traditionally for non-spiritual book titles and important documents.  It will be placed horizontally under the tribal lotus.  As reflected in the writing, the mantra has a lively spirit and positive flow to it.

 

The second one is Become Together Peaceful.  This round design again is written in Druscha style and to be put under the Mani mantra.  I chose this one not only because it resembles a sun or mandala format, but because of its deep meaning and the message I want to carry in this very screwed-up world. 

 

 

 

Bottomline, I am very happy with these findings and how the designs turn out to be.  Tashi is not only a very talented artist, he is consultative and communicative, too.  The fact that we are separated by multi time-zones and we never meet face-to-face, did not make this whole process difficult. 

 

Now, I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to get them made into realization.  They will certainly take on a life of their own.

« Older entries Newer entries »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.