Tattoo Honolulu, a new exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Arts was very crowded this weekend.
The exhibit featured photos of tattooed bodies as well as tattoo “flash art.” ”Flash” is a kind of catalog of tattoo designs from which customers can select their tattoo.
Hawaii is a great place to present tattoo as art since the islands has a native tattoo culture. Hawaiians and other Polynesian peoples tattooed great designs on their bodies.
There is some history of modern tattoos here in Hawaii. Many sailors got tattooed on their arms at tattoo parlors in downtown, Honolulu during WWII.
Since it is warm here, we have many opportunities to reveal our skin. Many in attendance at the exhibit had their own tattoos.
Japanese “irezumi (tattoo) is influential in the global tattoo world, as evidenced by the Japanese-style tattoos seen at the exhibition, both on the walls and on the skins of the museum-goers.
Hiroshige’s ukiyoe collection next to the exhibition is also great. Did you know that ukiyoe (Japanese block prints) influenced what is considered today to be the “traditional Japanese tattoo”?
June 14, 2012 – January 13, 2013
Honolulu Museum of Art