Asian tattoos have been popular for some time now. They are more popular in our culture today due to the fact that they carry significance and meaning that extends a little farther than a butterfly, angel, dragon, or heart with the word ‘Mom’ inscribed on it. But it is not just the design, but also the method by which Asian tattoos are given that makes them so popular. What is it about these tattoos that adds more significance than standard tattoos?
Wrist tattoos for example, were believed to stop the soul from escaping the body while dot tattoos between the thumb and index finger used to indicate that one was a headhunter. Eddie David, tattoo artist of Borneo Ink, says,
“For a lot of people, the idea of wanting to get a traditional tattoo is because they have already experienced what a machine tattoo does. So they probably have this feeling of wanting something less precise but more natural.”

A more mystical tattoo experience is the Thai Sak Yant performed by a monk. It is the Thai interpretation of the Buddhist and Hindu scripture and serious practitioners see it not only as body art, but also as a spiritual commitment. Sak Yant has been passed down for over 2,000 years and Sak Yant is done manually, using the traditional rod to implant all those scriptures on the individual to enhance their needs.

Simon Scarr, graphic journalist, said:

“You can feel it going really deep into your skin. It is very painful but it is worth the extra pain. They look very good and very different. They also have a lot more meaning than going to the tattoo parlour and picking one off the board.”

Some do it for art, some do it for religion, some do it for the pain, some do it for fashion. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear that tattoos go back to the neolithic times in 3300 BC and man’s obsession with ink is unlikely to fade over time.