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8th August Update

Articles about tattoo history

The more I researched, the more complicated the tattoo history appear to be. Every continent/culture has it's own tattoo history, for example, as we all know the word "tattoo" comes from the Tahitian "tatau" and was introduced into the English language by Captain James Cook's expedition. Polynesia is only famous in tattooing because Captain Cook happened to travel to Tahiti. However, tattoos exist prominently in various other Austronesian groups before contacts with other cultures. Every culture has its own way of tattooing in terms of social status or functions and also affected by other cultures in different periods.

I want the presenting tattoo history part of my intervention has a clear "storyline". No matter it's following a timeline or follow the migration of ancient people. But I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed in research.

But I have to start writing. The funny thing is when I force myself to start writing, I begin to deconstruction the word "tattoo", and I start to aware that I'm not writing a tattoo history book. What I'm trying to do is inspire the modern tattoo community by present the relevant history. Tattooing is an action, and people only practise "active tattoo" (get inked by their own choice) in the modern world. I have limited time and limited knowledge, and I should follow this clue and postpone the "passive tattoo" (get inked against their welling, tattoo as punishment) part in my research. I'm still drafting the article but feeling more confident about what I'm doing.

About contacting the experts

I've sent emails to tattoo artists and collectors in this week. There are two versions of my emails. I started from the project invitation version, but then I realised that people might not be interested in a MA student's project. So my second version of the email is titled as "A Kind Interview Invitation" I emphasise on the part that I'm building a platform to introduce them to the tattoo community. I've got in touch with one tattoo artist so far who agreed to answer my questions in texts. I've sent the question list to her and waiting for further reply.

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