23rd August | Reflecting on the current intervention

To summarize the feedback from my current two posts:

Tattoo study about tribe tattoo in history: quite "encyclopedic".

The translated interview with tattooist: he is very successful and inspiring.

Those are not very constructive comments.


I planned to write a series of posts about tattoo history, the one about tribe tattoo is the very first one in the series. I took a week to do research around geography, anthropology and religious in that period and put them together to show people how those things affect tattoo practise in that branch of tattooing. I was doing this inspired by The Story of Art (Ernst Gombrich). I wanted to show my audiences how tattooing was practised differently in different cultural, driven by different social statuses in different eras. But reflecting on the feedback from my first post whilst researching about my follow up post about tattooing in ancient Egypt, I start to realize that I might be too ambitious in doing this in a small amount of time. And as an intervention, people were passively absorbing the content that I’ve provided but not relating to them. Both posts have the same problem.


I shall find a way people can immediately relate to themselves and maybe apply to their future tattoo practises.


I have found a lot of tattoo artists practising tattoo in different styles. If we only appreciate their work as the way that they were presented, that’s because they have a different mindset about the body in the practice of tattooing. I summarize them into three different mindsets: the body as a tool, as canvas, or the body as the centrepiece.


When people see the body as a tool, they put tattoos on the body to get protection from their god, to identify themselves, or to increase eroticism, etc..


When they see the body as a canvas, or should I say paper might be more accurate. They drop down their mottos, collect the paintings, or see the body as one big blank paper to draw one big masterpiece.


Finally, when they see the body as the object, they treat tattooing as the frame. No matter how delicate the frame is, the body itself is the absolute key object in this scenario. The tattooing was used to make the body stand out.


I developed the theory above in my summer research. Maybe this could be a more engaging theme to write about and more suitable as an intervention. I will try another post to test how it works.

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