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Virginia’s 2015 Tattoo Arts & Film Festival!

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Tattoo-fueled festivals have been cropping up all across the country. Check out the festival that took place at the Honolulu Museum of Art! When the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, decided to host Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (on view until September 27),they also decided to create an arts and film festival to complement the exhibition. The first festival of its kind in Virginia, the Tattoo Arts and Film Festival on September 4th and 5th uses alternative art forms—from film to storytelling—to express the nature and spirit of tattoo. VMFA chose the films with a curatorial eye for top-notch cinematic qualities and tattoos functioning strongly in the narrative. Each will be introduced by world-renowned experts. Eastern Promises (2008): This taut crime movie, starring Viggo Mortenson and directed by David Cronenberg, tells the story of a shrewd criminal trying to rise in London’s Vory v Zakone Russian Mafia, where tattoos are earned for status and respect. Utamaro and His Five Women (1946): This Japanese classic B&W film by Kenji Mizoguchi dramatizes the creative drive and features a sub-theme relating tattoo with Japan’s woodblock print tradition. Tattoo Nation (2013): The recent documentary historicizes the U.S. tattoo practice by focusing on the Los Angeles shop that may have started the mass movement in body art. Japanese Anime Tattoo Traditions: VMFA explores examples of the particularly Japanese animated cartoon art, anime, with a tattoo inclination. With Anh Do, VMFA and VSU faculty animation expert In conjunction with the films, ...Read More »

Perseverance Japanese Tattoo Exhibit Video3 w/Drew Flores

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Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition focuses on the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists –Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka),Horitomo, Horishiki, Miyazo, Shige, Junii, and Yokohama Horiken – inspired by the Japanese tradition of tattooing and heavily influenced by the traditional Japanese arts ofcalligraphy and ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking. Specially commissioned photographs of work by each artist will be displayed alongside tools and relief carvings, as well as a recreated Torii. A companion book of the same title features additional photographs and writings, and is published by the Japanese American National Museum. Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition is created, designed and photographed by Kip Fulbeck, and curated by Takahiro Kitamura (Ryudaibori, formerly Horitaka). *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit VIDEO #1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck Perseverance Japanese Exhibit VIDEO #2 w/L.A. Horitaka Perseverance Japanese Exhibit VIDEO #3 w/Drew Flores Virginia’s 2015 Tattoo Arts & Film Festival !! Read More »

Perseverance Japanese Tattoo Exhibit Video2 w/L.A. Horitaka

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With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance),Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit Video1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck      Read More »

Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit Video1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck

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The title of the exhibition at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is derived the Japanese word gaman, loosely translated as “perseverance“—a word that has long been associated with tattooing in Japan. According to Takahiro Kitamura, curator of the exhibition, and Kip Fulbeck, exhibition creator, designer and photographer, perseverance is what has created this amazing art form despite numerous attempts by the Japanese government to suppress it, despite ongoing prejudices against its practitioners and clients, and despite a constant trend to oversimplify its complexities in contemporary media. Perseverance is a core concept in the fleeting art of the Japanese tattoo, a tradition that is transient yet also alive and well in this modern world. *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with TattooRead More »

Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo

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Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo When visiting Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition, on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia until September 27, you’re struck by the pure artistry. Photo after photo of intricate, mesmerizing designs, breathtaking colors, and symbolic imagery, one interwoven into the other, which would be difficult to render on canvas, much less flesh. There’s a passion and a reverence in these galleries that is almost palpable.  That’s why it’s almost inconceivable that Japan, which has been so instrumental in elevating tattooing to an art form, has also pushed this art form into the shadows, even condemned it for centuries. To understand the seemingly conflicted relationship that Japan has with tattooing, you must carefully unearth the deep roots of Japan’s tattoo culture, which date back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 to 300 BC). That’s when the first evidence of tattooing in Japan was recovered from tombs, in the form of clay figurines with faces painted or engraved to represent tattoos. Fast forward many years later to the Edo Period (1615-1868) and Japanese authorities began using tattoos to mark criminals. According to “Japanese Tattoos: From Yakuza to Artisans, Aesthetes” in the Wall Street Journal, “…convicts were branded with penal markings such as bands on the arms, or the kanji character for ‘dog’ on the forehead.” While this criminal stigma would prove difficult to shake for many centuries, tattooing enjoyed a significant reprieve from the negative connotation at the end of the ...Read More »

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: “Perseverance”

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Since 1936, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been dignified. Revered. Respectable. Timeless. As of May 29th, however, it’s going to look a little different. On May 29th, it’s getting 115 tattoos. And frankly, it’s about time.  With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance),Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. It’s the third-most tattooed city in America (per capita, mind you),which makes it the perfect match of artists and audience. Richmond is, was, and will always be in love with art. Just not always the kind that hangs on gallery walls. Tattoos, graphic design, sculpture, typography, mural painting—Richmond’s breaking all kinds of new ground in these every year. When you’ve got a mix of young artists, art students, tattoo artists, musicians, skateboarders, crust punks, regular old (or as regular as they get) punks, bike gangs, motor-scooter gangs, and general nonconformists like Richmond has, you’re going to see an awful lot of beautiful things that don’t always fit the 20th-century definition of “art.” VMFA, to its credit, has realized this. In a city that prides itself fiercely on outsider ...Read More »

Chris Trevino- Top Japanese Style tattooists! pt5

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Chris Trevino is an expert in traditional Japanese tattooing who earned the nickname “Horimana” after studying for five years under the legendary master Horiyoshi III. His elaborate, full-body representations of Asian symbology reminds us of the later works by Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins aka Horismoku. Trevino now runs Perfection Tattoo in Austin, TX which was founded by Bob Moreau in the late 70s… The shop attracts people from every continent seeking to receive the gift of his artwork. His clients are usually serious about their tattoos, often committing to large scale projects that cover much of their body. Trevino knows how to communicate with individuals to draw out and refine an initially loose idea of what they want. He fully understands the iconography of Japanese art and explains how a seemingly simple warrior tattoo can represent far more than meets the eye based on the stories behind the character. His in-depth bio can be found in Tattoo Artist Magazine #11 and a full retrospective of his artwork and tattoos can found in his latest book “Gods & Warriors – Horimana: The Works of Chris Trevino” Horimana is his Japanese tattooer name, given him by Horiyoshi III, but he’s more commonly known as Chris Trevino, aka the workaholic, aka the Cyborg, aka THE MACHINE: Here’s why!- by Crash Hailing from Austin, TX, Chris Trevino was already well-known in the early 90s for his cutting edge tattoo skills and flash designs. This was the start of the ‘new-school’ movement of tattooing and ...Read More »

Tattoo Artist Magazine: Mike Rubendall Issue #28 Teaser Video

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*To see MORE and learn about some of the MOST AMAZING tattoo artists of our age, check out these deals from Tattoo Artist Magazine! There’s a reason tattooers themselves consider TAM the most informative and important tattoo magazine ever –   *Be sure to check out the digital issues of Tattoo Artist Magazine ON SALE NOW– JUST $2.99 – $7.99. TAM DIGITAL ISSUES And look at our $.99 collection of  TAM VIDEO Downloads available now! Either way, See the BEST TATTOOS from the BEST ARTISTS in the world. Add to your collection today!Read More »

Japanese Tattoos as Fine Art

By Liz Ohanesian Source: www.laweekly.com On Saturday afternoon, four tattoo artists went to work inside Little Tokyo’s Japanese American National Museum for the opening of “Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in the Modern World.” They spent hours taking ink and needles to flesh, adding to the large, detailed illustrations that already marked their client’s bodies. Crowds gathered and dispersed throughout the day, watching with interest. Most seemed unfazed by the buzz of tattoo machines. Many of the onlookers here have gone through a similar process. Some had tattooed sleeves that crawled out from under t-shirts. Others had art that peeked out above collar lines or below hems. Instead, it was two of those tattoo artists working in silence at their stations who could provoke a wince from the crowd. They were practicing tebori. That’s the traditional Japanese way of applying tattoos. In other words, they were using equipment that wasn’t motorized. The artists dipped their instruments into ink before poking repeatedly at patches of skin on their clients. One lay on his back, an arm crossed over his eyes. His stomach moved with breaths that grew deeper as the prodding persisted. Another remained still on his stomach. From certain angles, you could catch the tension creases form on his face. Tebori is an old-fashioned way of tattooing, but it’s not antiquated. Takahiro Kitamura, known as Horitaka in tattoo circles, is the curator of “Perseverance.” He notes that there are still plenty of tebori practitioners at work. Many of them choose to ...Read More »

Crystal Morey: Horibenny (Part II)

By Crystal Morey Horibenny is one of my favorite monsters. Odder than bacon with legs, he oozes with creative zealotry and possesses an indiscriminate passion for life that is contagious. Benny is one of the first round-eyes to be given and to complete a formal tattoo apprenticeship here in Japan, and by this I mean, he cooked, fetched and lived for his sempai for over four years… A far cry from the ‘two week a year drop in to study and pay money’ apprenticeship awarded to many gaijin deshi these days. Benny is an accomplished painter, his tattoo work is delicate yet powerful, it often embodies the Japanese tenet that less is more, and his earnest demeanor only lends to his accomplishments as an artists. Ever the student, Ben works his ass of on a daily basis to learn more and push himself further and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him make significant artistic advancements over the past few years. He is not unlike one of those wind-up toys you point and they take off pointedly in one direction… only Ben’s nose is pointed at the moon and with his passion it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he got there… (Click here to read Part I)Read More »

Crystal Morey: Horibenny (Part I)

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By Crystal Morey Horibenny is one of my favorite monsters. Odder than bacon with legs, he oozes with creative zealotry and possesses an indiscriminate passion for life that is contagious. Benny is one of the first round-eyes to be given and to complete a formal tattoo apprenticeship here in Japan, and by this I mean, he cooked, fetched and lived for his sempai for over four years… A far cry from the ‘two week a year drop in to study and pay money’ apprenticeship awarded to many gaijin deshi these days. Benny is an accomplished painter, his tattoo work is delicate yet powerful, it often embodies the Japanese tenet that less is more, and his earnest demeanor only lends to his accomplishments as an artists. Ever the student, Ben works his ass of on a daily basis to learn more and push himself further and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him make significant artistic advancements over the past few years. He is not unlike one of those wind-up toys you point and they take off pointedly in one direction… only Ben’s nose is pointed at the moon and with his passion it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he got there…Read More »

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