Sunday, February 28, 2010
Japanese Body Art
Tattoos in Japan have undergone a rich and enduring history. Mullowney asserts that Japanese tattoos have had a history in woodblock cut outs. Japanese tattooing relies heavily on ancient art. There is a certain style and form necessary in creating a certain aesthetic. This article also talks about emerging tattoo artists that are involved in primarily Japanese art and styles. Of American decent, these artists have traveled to Japan and studied the intricate art form. Mullowney attributes the increase in popularity of Japanese art to the imperialization of Japan during the Meiji Restoration. According to this article, tattoos in Japan have a negative stigma attached to them. Those with tattoos in Japan are normally stereotyped as affiliates of the Yakuza. However, new emerging artists are attempting to alter this misconceived notion, and develop tattoo into a legitimate art form. One artist that has been gaining immense popularity, especially amongst working class young people, is Don Ed Hardy. He is an American artist known for his adaption of Japanese art. Ironically, he is in high demand in Japan as young working class people now want tattoos reminiscent of Americana. These images include eagles that show their interest in American culture.
Below is a picture of the artist Don Ed Hardy
I find tattoo art incredibly interesting. Unlike other art forms, tattoo art to me is the most intimate. Essentially, it is art that physically and literally becomes a part of your body. The description of tattoo art in this week's reading seem to perfectly illustrate the idea that tattoos are highly symbolic. Regardless of the actual tattoo, they remain symbols and markers for various things. I had always known that various ranks in the Japanese mafia are identified by tattoos. However, I was not aware of how extensive these pieces of art were.
The Compact Challenge is near its end. I have yet to purchase anything that is completely new, except for of course essentials. I feel much more accomplished. Instead of frivolusly spending my hard earned money on trivial things, I can allocate that money to other things. I also realized that since I have not been online shopping, I have become more productive. As we all know, online shopping is a full time thing. It is a constant search for new arrivals, deals, etc. The compact challenge in a sense has taught me to use my time more wisely.
Paul Mullowney Ed. "Wood Skin Ink: The Japanese Aesthetic in Modern Tattooing" Reader.
Pic # 1
Pic # 2