The primary research I have been doing this week is sending out interview questions to my target audiences, the Chinese tattooists. I am doing this to understand their perspectives of the tattoo industry and whether they have the desire to learn from the western tattoo industry, in terms of the "tattoo renaissance" happening in here.
To summarize the feedback that I have received so far:
The Chinese tattoo industry is growing, in terms of the average education level, drawing and tattoo techniques. But this is not within their ability to gentrify the tattoo industry like what happened in the west. It is more of a political problem than a cultural problem.
Some tattooists still insist that tattoo should remain sub-cultural. They value the mysteries of tattooing.
Some tattooists want to learn the logic behind the art in the west, whilst the other tattooists care only about their own drawing skills.
Apart from regulations and sterilization, art and cultural education are what the sophisticated tattooists more curious and passionate of the west.
More feedback shall be received next week since there were couple of tattooists think that they need more time to think about it.
Reflect on my research question, "How can the occidental mainstreaminization of tattoo industry affect/apply to China?", it seems not realistic after my research because the political problem in China is out of mine and the Chinese tattooists' range.
Note: Questions I have asked the modern Chinese tattooists:
What’s your first impression of tattooing and when was that?
How long have you been in the tattoo industry?
What has been changed in the industry in these years?
In your opinion, what caused the changes?
How does the censor policy affect your work?
Why do you think the Chinese government want to compress the tattoo industry?
Is there anything you can do, as a successful tattooist, to gentrify the Chinese tattoo industry?
How do you feel about the western“tattoo renaissance”?
How would the “tattoo renaissance” affect the Chinese tattoo industry?
Do you think there is anything for the Chinese tattooists to learn from in the western tattoo industry?
Do you have the desire to learn and communicate with them?
In which way you want to learn and communicate with them? (travel to the west and have a face to face communication/ online lecture/ translated books or research materials/ etc.)
Do you think the current explosive prosperity of tattoos is a good thing for the art form of tattoos itself?