„Erhebt euch, widersetzt euch“

Never judge the book by it’s cover
Never cover the book with judge
Never book a judge to cover
Get up, Stand upmo1
mo2

mo3

mo5

These photo sessions started with the informal mood I like to put the “models” on ease. Mr. M was a former client of my shop Tattoo-Church back in Tokyo. We clicked together after several of his visits, and I had the idea of taking some of these photos
Clearly, his hair style stands out from the average Japanese crowd. Still a country so crusted with formalities, that the alone does not stand apart from being alone.
So, we started the “hair style project”. An informal way of pointing out that people do judge others by the look.
And I had to confess, so do I. As I wrote above, we clicked together after several of his visits.
My very first impressions were not so friendly to begging of. I think I’m just a crook bastard sometimes.. yes, please don’t judge
mo6
mo7
おばちゃんがスーパーのレジに並んでる時に後ろから、”あんたその髪どうやってシャンプーするの?”っていきなり聞かれた。そういった話からこの企画がスタート。
人は見た目で判断する。それは正直俺もそうだし。今回紹介するMさんも同じく。最初は俺もチャラオだと思った。すみませんMさん(笑
まあ本人も俺の第一印象は”怖い”だったそうである。俺は慣れっこだけど、でもやっぱりちょっとショック(笑
今になっては笑い話に出来るいい思い出だが。
タトゥーは時間をかけて作り上げて行くものなので、お互いのコミュニケーションから絵のタッチや好みが解り、徐々にその距離は縮まって行く。
音楽、食べ物、女の好みまで(笑
それがまた彫りに来てもらった時に、その人の顔を思い浮かべながら作業台にマシーンや色を並べながらその日の作業と会話を考えるのが楽しみなんです
mo9
mo10
また東京戻ったら飲もうぜMさん!

Meet & greet 3

IMG_1128

The world spins around
and sometimes we do end where we started
Footprints and marks are left untouched
in the heart’s memory book
Fresh and not rust, it comes out
nor as a ghost of the howling past
It’s just a shadow with wings
flying around our heads
Like bats that mirrors
the dark side of the moon
Walk past through the tunnels
the very one’s of doom
s2

タトゥーは何時でも再会
彫り終わっても別れではない

Meet & Greet 2

Like the last Meet & Greet post, is always a great pleasure to see old friends again.
Thorsten had being in touch and had gotten few tattoos by me through the time.
I had the honor to add one more piece, that is more than one piece itself.
Ribs are a truly painful spot. Do not attempt if you fear harm.

20130628-201108.jpg

20130628-201326.jpg
このおじさんは不良です。不良と言っても、三人のお子さんの良きパパ。今だから話せる話もたくさん持っているだろうし、今だからこうして二人で話せるんだろうなと思う時多々(笑
こういう人は顔にはもちろん”生き様”(この言葉使いたくなかったなぁ~。。。でも他にみつかんない)が出ているが、やはりプラスアルファ、タトゥーがかなりの割合でその”顔”を良く表している。
ここではちょっと書けない柄とそれにまつわる意味が全身に彫られていて純粋にカッコイイ―!とベタなコメントになってしまうが、それ以外の言葉がまたみつからん。。。
以前も書いたように、覚悟持って何か(タトゥー、ファッション含め)背負うってのはやっぱカッケ―よな。。。それが出来るから子供達の自慢のパパなんだろうな

20130628-203101.jpg

Light upon us

These photos were taken in December of 2010.
Strangely, this photos came out a bit “darker” than the previous one’s. Not because of her dyed hair, make-up or dark clothes and dark background…
I mean dark as they were predicting what would happen few months later on March 2011.
All the knitting girls went back to their homeland. A vacuum were formed not just in my shop back them, but in the entire country.
By no means I’m saying that this photos bring me bad/ sad memories.
I’m just saying that photos are a such powerful tool sometimes. Recalling memories. Bringing back origins and re-questioning why tattoos…

k10
k16
k17
k23
k24

Now, emotions are putted aside and we can recollect the facts occurred.
Why tattoos?
Because we are human beings.
Tattoos states that. We are human beings.
And tattoos are a light, brightening our path. With hopes that we will knot these ends again.
https://www.facebook.com/GiantsOfLeisure

Knit the Knot

Did I mentioned that I love photography? I mean, not exactly photography as an artistic genre. But I love to take photos. As I mentioned in a early post, photography is by no means a minor thing for me.
I might not be good as I wish, but say that photos are an a extension of my art.
Perhaps, the last recall of my memories. To bring back the origins of my tattoos.

I met Kate in my former shop Tattoo-Church in Tokyo.
She just waved by, and firstly choose a discrete small tattoo inside her arm. It was an Andy Warhol inspired painting.
It was a strange design of people jumping from buildings titled “Suicide” (a silkscreen made by the man, dated in 1963)
From them on she added more to her collection, and at the same time introduced me to a “gang” of expat girls living in Tokyo.
They would come, get tattooed, chit chat girls talk on Mondays at the shop. Guess Mondays were their day off or something.
Funny was not the girl’s talk, that i guess guys are also curious to know what woman gossip between them. Well, say that they just say what we guess what they say…
But funny for me was the situation itself. The other girls waiting for their turn or just there to give some “spiritual help” to the one laying on the bench, would be for example knitting while waiting.
They had those “waves” and “booms” from time to time, and one of these were knitting.

I mean, who da hell gonna knit in a tattoo shop? Guess not even in a hospital I had seen woman knitting (read old one’s) while waiting for their turn…
Even strange as it sounds, in other way you can take it as how laid back was the atmosphere in the shop.
We had our common trust, so they were free to feel home.
Be it knitting, drinking coffee or just waving by for a chat.

So, I have good memories of those Mondays. It reminds me the warmness of a knit sweater, even if I don’t have one…

IMG_5004

IMG_5036
IMG_5037
IMG_5042
IMG_5045

The photos above were took in 2009, and are from a self published book. I will write about this book in a future post. Other photos I took of Kate later, will be posted tomorrow.
Perhaps you can knit while waiting

Tattoo, The fallen angel of art

Basically I gonna re-write or translate my previous Japanese post. Discussing what would be the difference between “Tattoo artist” and “tattooist”. My personal goal is to be labeled (?) as “Tattoo artist”.
Why?
At least in my book, tattoos are a extension of my art expression. Yes, it is the “main” expression per se, but I do also have interests in other fields as well.
One big example is photography.
I became interested in photography thanks to tattooing. When one’s finish the piece, next step is to document its work.
And photos are the ultimate way of recording the work, and consequently using it as a promotion, studying, etc, etc.

Many of my early works got lost. Yes, I was bad as photographer and tattooist, and still struggling on both forms.
The problem is that I started on the film era (yes, I know…don’t even try to guess my age!) and after taking several rolls for one tattoo, maaaaaybe one could come out good.
And yes, most of times, NONE would come out good. And I was on the late example most of times.

Switching to digital, relieved me from enormous stress. Monetary, principally…
And that’s how I seriously started get interested in photos. Now I could take millions and not care for the results, so to speak.
Got immense amount of help from friends, and other information were collected on books and of course, trial and error old school way.

I still like to take photos of landscapes, and for my work being directly involved with human beings; I do also love portraits.

Many experiences were made during the years, and some projects do still in work, and other simply faded away.
One that enjoyed doing was this with my friend Sooz Lillend. Shot in 2009 when she was visiting Tokyo, and we decided to do some body painting and subsequently a photo session.

So, here’s a example of media mixes and art forms, always having tattooing as a main filter.
Obviously, I as a “maker” can’t be entitled to judge if this is “art” or not. Not a bit of sarcasm or contradiction here.
I did it purely for the artistic purpose. So the result (at least for me) is purely artistic. It’s when I feel my self (or do call myself) “Tattoo artist”.

IMG_3453

IMG_3534

IMG_3519

IMG_3502

IMG_3509

Meet & Greet

20130504-174921.jpg

20130504-175000.jpg

Arriving, departuring. A travel is a long or a short connection between two worlds, two countries, two destiny’s. Tattooing can be compared to a travel also. People arrive with dreams and departure with memories.
And by no means I am just a pilot or a bridge between these two worlds.
I do also take part on these travels. The mysterious and exciting, to re-discover the perceptions forgotten or frozen on our imaginations.

20130504-180136.jpg

I met Manuel in 2012. We did half of his chest in April and then, completed the entire thing in September. And now again in April 2013, we could meet once more to take a prompt photo of the healed tattoo.
That’s the magic about tattooing and the relationship we built with people we worked together.
Sometimes we meet constantly, sometimes we don’t see each other for years. But there’s a strange bond between tattooist and tattooee.
Suppresses word, time and thoughts. Is what I call a travel. Re-discovering forgotten and frozen perceptions.

Empire of senses 2

タトゥーで僕が目指しているのは”空気”。いろんな意味での空気ではあるが、”空気を読まない”空気も含まれている。あえて読む必要はない。
作品では”空気を感じさせる作品”を彫りたい。

空気が無ければ呼吸は出来ない。
呼吸が出来ないとリズムは生まれない。
リズムが生まれないと会話が成立しない。
会話の成立したタトゥーが会話そのもを超えた、
ハートとハートの本当の呼吸。

20130415-134812.jpg

20130415-134910.jpg

20130415-134937.jpg

Not so many people realize that, but the “air” is different in every form in every place.
And I’m not speaking of dry air, hot air, humidity or anything like that.
I am speaking of a “palpable air”.
The one that can be felt by the tattoo breathing for itself, despite the wearer’s rhythm.
When the air (tattoo) itself trans pass the borders, the limitations and the mind set.
So powerful that you can hear it’s blow sound.
The sound that can only be duplicated in that respective place, at that respective time.
The rhythm that cannot be translated, neither be copied.
The original sound of our hearts.
The ancestral sound of all of our mankind.

I still sigh…dreaming for that unmistakable taste every time I whisper that from my lips,
in that respective air surrounding me.

20130415-135617.jpg

20130415-135708.jpg

20130415-135748.jpg

20130415-135843.jpg

20130415-191621.jpg

20130415-191700.jpg

20130415-191834.jpg

Speaking of Hannyas…and others

IMG_9609IMG_9605IMG_9602

I had tattooed my Italian friend Andrea (center photo) in 2010. He got this old school looking Hannya (left photo) back them, and we had the chance to meet again the following year.

He’s really good at dealing with the internet. Launching blogs like this one, showing his t-shirt collection.
He’s also a damn good photographer.

In 2011, he came to play some gigs with a local Japanese band and he did the vocals and made a little tour with the boys, doing it straight up punk style. Sleeping in the Van, drinking cheap booze and playing loud as you can.

At the end of the tour, he visited me and asked for a Namakubi (Severed head) tattoo. Shocking as it might look, the Namakubi means punishment if they are not living a truly righteous life, the circle of life and death and fearless.

Interesting when he choose the area, there was already a lettering with the inscriptions “One chance”. We took it as a “one chance” to live your life to the fullest before you become a Namakubi itself.

イタリア人のアンドレアが僕の店を訪れたのは2010年の夏だった。その時は左の写真の般若をリクエストし、音楽の共通点等からすぐに意気投合した。
それから一年たって、今度はボーカルとして日本のバンドと一緒にツアーを回るという事になった。

パンクスである彼はそのライフスタイルをうまく今の時代の”武器”であるインターネットを通して興味深いブログを書いたり、カメラマンとしても活動中。

そのツアーを終えて、今度は”生首”を彫りたいと再びやってきた。選んだ場所にはすでに彫ってあった”ワン チャンス”という文字があり、生首というデザインにピッタリだねと二人で話した。要は、人生は一度のチャンスしかないんだから自分が死ぬ前に(生首になっちゃう前に?)一生懸命生きましょうねという解釈を僕たちはした。

IMG_9608

And after the tattoo was done, I started take the photos as usual. When I asked him to cross his arms, I noticed his t-shirt print. The image came in my head in a instant sparkle. The Namakubi had this sad look, because he was “dumped” by the girl (on the t-shirt), and she was now hooked with the skull guy.

There’s no coincidence for the photo. And there’s no coincidence why I met Andrea.

そして彫り終えてからいつもの様に写真を撮る時に、なにげに腕を組んでほしいと頼んだ。カメラのファインダーを覗いた瞬間に彼が着ていたT-シャツのデザインが生首とシンクロしているように見えた。
生首の悲しい表情の理由は、彼はT-シャツにプリントされている女にフラれたあげく、彼女は”骸骨”と仲良くやっているからだと。
二人でそれを見て笑ったのを覚えている。

写真は偶然かもしれないけど、アンドレアと出会えたのは必然だと思う。

photo by Andrea Canthc , while he was getting tattooed (2011)
photo by Andrea Canthc , while he was getting tattooed (2011)