Thank You Immigration Museum – Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks Exhibition

Introduction

I have been considering getting a tattoo for quite sometime now. Earlier this year, I spoke to tattoo artists and asked them to have a conversation with me, and express what they feel about me on my body.

In one occasion, I felt I stressed the tattoo artist. They didn’t want to take onboard the task.

On another occasion, I didn’t quite like the expression. In fact, it put me into a little head spin. With hardly any conversation about my likes, dislikes, my roots, values, or life, the tattoo artist expressed something which was not how I see myself at all. Unsure what triggered them to see me that way.

That is where I put a pause on the tattoo idea.

Immigration Museum, Melbourne

I have walked past the building so many times. But haven’t had the chance to ever see it. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that they were having an exhibition named Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks. Combining with one of my close friend’s birthday, I visited the Museum on Saturday, 28th September, dressed to support the Richmond Tigers as it was also the Grand Final day.

Paul Stillen – Connected Bodies

The first series that was exhibited was by Melbourne based modern day tattoo artist, Paul Stillen. All the tattoos displayed were unique and beautiful.

However it was more beautiful to listen to Paul Stillen, and everyone involved in presenting the work.

I immediately fell in love with him.

Tattooing someone or marking them permanently is something I take very seriously. Someone essentially trusts me to mark their bodies.

– Paul Stillen

Museums Victoria – Paul Stillen – Connected Bodies

It was fascinating to learn why various people got their tatoos.

  • Some were rebellious. It was how they ran out of the prison they lived, maybe because of cultural rules or rules imposed by parents.
  • Some decided to mark their bodies along their journey doing yoga. They felt deeply connected to their bodies and found marking as an avenue to express their spiritual connections.
  • Some wanted to add a layer of identity as they walked the journey of life as and when they found new aspects of themselves.
  • Some felt the need to reconnect with their ancestral roots. They used their body art that expressed their heritage or roots.

It wasn’t just ink or art on a body. All these had a story. An identity. And most importantly, a kind empathetic artist who took his work seriously, and who took time and great care of their customer.

Also seeing the two other exhibitions “Tatau – Marks of Polinesia” and the “Japanese Tattoo Tradition in the Modern world“, one thing was evident;

Body art, marks, ink, tattoo, or another name, all direct at something that goes deeper than the art on a layer of dead cells.

It goes across all cultures, across all eras right back to history.

This is one of many ways humans have been expressing, communicating, admiring, and identifying.

Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks…. Tells you Our Story…

– Nim –

Tatau – Marks of Polinesia

A photo blog of what I admired the most

Japanese Tattoo Tradition in the Modern world

A photo blog of what I admired the most

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