TAT An Artist's Life with Aaron Bell

Discussion in 'Vaginarium' started by Buttons, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Buttons

    Buttons OT Supporter

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    I missed last week so I've decided to post 2 stories this week.

    An Artist's Life With Aaron Bell

    Many of the large-scale tattoo motifs used in Japan are based upon Japanese legends, but most are imported from China. This is what prompted me to take the thirteen-hour flight across the Pacific. My goal was to expand my knowledge and develop a better understanding of the symbolism behind this beautiful, ancient art. My objectives were most certainly met. In addition, I was boldy reminded of what tattoos really represent and what it was like to display them before they became so acceptable.

    The socialist government of the People's Republic of China teaches from early childhood that individualism is bad. According to them, it does not serve teh good of the people. During Chairman Mao's cultural revolution, he ordered that fine art be destroyed. Therefore, one would think that the idea of putting fine art on the individual would be particularly appalling. Sure, some people frowned on us during our visit, but the majority were enthralled by our tattoos and reacted positively.

    While travelling throughout China, many of the locals asked my wife and me about our heavily inked bodies. The weather waas ninety to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit with up to ninety nine percent humidity. Believe me, long sleeves and pants were not an option. Most of the people who approached us couldn't speak English, but they gestured to us to pose for pictures with them. They'd excitedly throw their arms around us and smile, as their friends clicked off snapshots. Strange but true, at the Great Wall we were stealing attention away from one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In a historical area of Beijing, people walked up and tried to rub away our tattoos. Others mumbled the word "beautiful" in passing. There were times we would feel annoyed, because people would approach us as if theey were going to ask a question, and then just stand there and stare. We reminded ourselves that staring is not considered rude in their culture, and that these friendly people were just curious. Yes, we were a walking sideshow, and there was no way around it. As ambassadors of the tattoo world, we just smiled, nodded and cheerfully showed off our work.

    Some tattooed people would probably find the entire experience very annoying. Personally, I found it enriching, because it reminded me how powerful tattoo art can be. Also, being nostalgic for the old days when tattoos had real shock value, it's thrilling to have discovered that I don't have to go back in time. I simply have to get on a road and broaden my horizons.

    Aaron Bell
    www.slavetotheneedle.com
     
  2. eelliiss

    eelliiss Active Member

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    Good read.
     
  3. Lindsay Loo

    Lindsay Loo ミ★ Mikel's POZ Partner ミ★

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    i like this story... pretty awesome to see all the cultures of the world at first hand...
     
  4. BarbaraWaltersPegleg

    BarbaraWaltersPegleg Irish Guido

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