News Article #2

I am growing considered about the image of the people shown from China with tattoos. This article here gives an account of the “punk spreading” in Asia. Tattoos and other forms of body modification are one of the symbols. I wouldn’t be so worried about this, except the only articles on tattooing I can seem to find follow this general theme of “punk” or unsociable or not part of normative society.

This could be something that I just have to deal with; perhaps I am thinking Chinese art will be too similar to the American form where it’s pretty normal for almost any young person to have at least a small tattoo somewhere. It doesn’t make that person punk or weird, it’s just something that he/she wanted and got almost like buying a pair of shoes. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of people who are very serious and have strong meanings behind their tattoos for personal expression or remembrance, but it’s also just very common for any person from any age demographic or social standing to have a tattoo.

I don’t know what to except, and I don’t know what I want to except, but it might be a little weird for me if everyone I end up interviewing and seeing has some crazy full body tattoo like this guy:

(yup, that’s a butt)

The news article is worrisome because it says that this look isn’t generally accepted, and I know part of that is the tattoos. The idea that only hooligans get tattoos, but this article specifically deals with this “punk” look. I’m thinking that there are going to be some popular tattoo designs that are very common in China.

I don’t want to assume that it’s exactly the same as it is in the United States (and I don’t think that it is), but also, I think that it would be hard to ignore all the shared social media of this new technological age where cultures are shared over the internet and televisions in mere seconds or less. I have  a feeling that it will be different, but that there will be many similarities. Many celebrities and musicians have tattoos and I think the copying effect (where youths go try to emulate an idol) will be strong in China too.

I also found another article that also talks about tattooing as an outside form. You can read it here. It talks about a Tibetan artist using tattooing as a form of protest. This is also concerning, because while I don’t think it’s an “outsider” action to participate in, there’s no way the Chinese government overlooks strong open protest to allow Tibet to be independent. I know that there is some backlash in the Chinese society over having tattoos over this, or at least just that particular tattoo. That could almost be the equivalent of a gang sign or prison tattoo in the U.S where the police do not appreciate such artwork on citizens.

But, everything will work out. I think that I will have a fun time being in the city and asking around for myself what the some of the people think about tattoos and people with tattoos. It’s definitely going to be an experience.