Hedalen Stave Church – Revisit

This summer a tattoo artist friend of mine from New Zealand came for a visit. She spent a week here and since Oslo is a small city it only takes a few days to see everything this city has to offer, so we decided to go hiking in Jotunheimen for couple of days. On the way there we made a stop at Hedalen Stave Church. 

Hedalen Stave Church

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Heddal Stave Church

Heddal stave church is a stave church located at Heddal in Notodden municipality, Norway.

Heddal Stave Church

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You Wanna What My Moth? (Warning: Art Heavy Post)

A photoshopped version of a painting from a museum in Firenze. The original was painted by Agnolo di Cosimo (a.k.a. Bronzino (1503-1572)).

I wanna fuck your moth

I wanna f**k your moth / Self-portrait as chubby moth molester and bird trainer. (Original painting: Agnolo Bronzino, Doppio ritratto del Nano Morgante (fronte))

Can you handle an art heavy post? Then keep on reading.

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Interview with Ru Hwan | Tattooing in Korea

Tattooing in Korea – is it legal? Is it illegal? That would be “yes” to both questions. “What? Wait. How can it be both legal and illegal at the same time?” In this interview with Korean tattoo artist Ru Hwan, we’ll find out more.

Technically speaking, tattooing is legal in Korea (yes, this article is about South Korea of course), but you’ll need to be a licensed doctor in order to perform this type of “skin surgery”.
Now imagine yourself that you’re at the end of six years of medical studies at the university, it’s time to decide which path to choose: should you become a GP, a skin specialist, a surgeon or perhaps you should go wild and chase your childhood dream of becoming a tattoo artist?
Just like in every other country in the world, people with medical degrees don’t become tattoo artists – they become doctors – and that’s a good thing, because we all need someone who might be able to cure us when we are sick, but some of us also needs creative persons that can create art on our skin every now & then.

Graduation day at the Medical University: "Should I become a doctor or a tattoo artist?"

Graduation day at the Medical University: “Should I become a doctor or a tattoo artist?”

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Color Outside the Lines: A Tattoo Documentary (2012)

Color Outside the Lines: A Tattoo Documentary (2012):  All cultures have ancient tattoo roots: Polynesia, Celts, Japanese, Native Americans, etc, etc. Here the other day I saw a documentary that drew historical lines from the black American community, back to legendary tattoo artist such as Sailor Jerry & Ed Hardy and their contact with Japanese artists. The 1 1/2 hour-long documentary was insightful on how ink looks different on different kinds of skin, how it was like for black Americans when they first started out in the tattoo business and how some of them (not all of them!) came from a background as scratchers.

(A scratcher is an “inexperienced, untalented, unclean and untrained tattooer”. (urbandictionary.com). Scrathcers often work from their own homes, they have no respect for the art and uses tattooing (or scratching) as an easy way to make money).


Illustration photo from MBK Tattoo Contest 2015, by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com

The documentary, directed by Artemus Jenkins and produced by Miya Bailey, has a number of interviews with black American tattoo old-schoolers like Jacci Gresham, plus a lot of younger artists – also some who are (or used to be) under the apprenticeship of hard-working tattoo artists.

“Color Outside the Lines is the first film that provides a deep look into the history, culture and lives of the world’s top black tattoo artists.” (YouTube)

If you’re interested in tattooing and tattoo history, I highly recommend this 1 1/2 hour documentary, which is available on YouTube:

More about tattoos in this blog:


My tattoo related Flickr Gallery:



The History of Tattoo Part 5: Japan

The History of Tattoo: Japan

I kind of gave away this information in the title already, but in courtesy of those of you who missed it: this is my fifth article on this subject and I’ll concentrate on the tattoo history of Japan.

The last article I published in this series was in January 2014. My plan back then was to publish the next one (the one you’re reading now) in April 2014, but that clearly didn’t happen. Well, as I’ve mentioned in some of my previous articles, they were originally written for a tattoo chain. Many years have passed since my original Norwegian article was published, so I had to re-write and update the info. What was originally just a short passage in an article, has now turned into this elaborate piece of reading. For those of you who wishes to read more, links to my previous articles, further reading and sources are provided.

In Japan there are several forms of tattooing, from the old bamboo techniques (tebori) to the modern machine tattooing (kikaibori), but they’re all covered by the Japanese word Irezumi (入れ墨).

A Small Vocabulary
 "Irezumi" (入れ墨, 入墨, 紋身, 刺花, 剳青, 黥 or 刺青) in Japanese, meaning "insert ink".
 "bunshin" meaning "decorating the body".
 "the Yakuza" (ヤクザ) - the mafia, the organized crime of Japan.
 "Horimono" - full body tattoo.
 "bokkei" - (or bokukei, meaning punishment by tattooing).

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The History of Tattoo quoted in an article

One of my articles about the history of tattoo have been quoted in another article on the same subject. It’s always an honour to be quoted, especially when it’s from an article that I’ve spent many hours researching and writing. It’s a while ago since both mine and the Gizmodo article was published, but I thought I’d give it a shout out anyway (better late than tomorrow, right?).


Facsimile from Gizmodo

If you’re interested, visit Gizmodo for their article and (of course) you can also read my article here in the blog. THis is the second time one of my articles on tattoos have been quoted. The first time was in a scientific paper.

P.S. I’ve started working on a new article on tattooing now (it’s a combined travel report/tattoo article) and, thanks to some inspiration from David Bennett by a comment he left me here in the blog, I’ll also begin to work on my next article in The History of Tattoo.