The New Forward looks at works inspired by — and inspirations for — tattoos.
Tattoo art is one of the many loves of graphic artist Jimkimjat, who cites both traditional and nouveau tattoo work as inspiration. The KL born designer’s own personal works portray a gloomy manifestation of fate and death. It is interesting to see his use of a limited colour palette resulting in outcomes reminiscent of a screenprint texture. Jimkimjat makes up half of Krashmark, a collective comprised of two artists expressing their similar principles for art and design in their two distinctive styles.
Yogyakarta-based freelance illustrator Rasefour lets his doodles run wild, drawing inspiration from life, nature, friends, and an open mind. The works of Rasefour range from very dark, complex renderings of sinister moods to simplistic, soulful images of spirituality. His influences come through in the form of a punk style, with skulls and skate culture being the focus of his characters. If tattooing his work on yourself seems a little too intense, you can still wear his art by purchasing the t-shirts he personally designs. Rasefour’s expressions through art drive on a simple philosophy to always be different, and that style is the limit.
SLUT is Malaysian graphic designer Guanyin Ma, whose works question human’s natural (or perhaps unnatural) need to repress their desires. Expressing an exaggerated hedonistic view on things, you’d be hard pressed to find an illustration by SLUT that doesn’t have any phalluses. The works are feminist at its core, but the message goes beyond that – don’t give in to societal norms simply because you’re told to.
BEJALAI BY UZAIR SAWAL
A short documentary that explores the Iban concept of Bejalai – a person’s journey to seek wisdom, wealth, discovery of the world, and ultimately one’s own self-discovery. It traditionally involves getting tattoos that mark significant points in that journey. Shot as part of Astro’s My Hometown project with Red Films Production in 2012, Bejalai sees Uzair going back to his hometown in Miri to document and further deepen his own understanding of the tradition as he continues on his own journey. Uzair, who is currently in Kathmandu shooting his first feature length documentary, plans to document more of Sarawak’s dying traditions in the near future. Especially of the Orang Ulu’s body art culture of half sleeve tattoos and elongated earlobes.
To see more works by these artists, go to www.thenewfwd.com/juice.