Monday, 16 January 2017

Mattia Passarini | Inked Faces

Photo © Mattia Passarini - All Rights Reserved
The word tattoo is derived from the Tahitian "tatu" which means "to mark something." It is claimed that tattooing has existed since 12,000 years BC, and its purpose has varied from culture to culture and from era to era.

The recent tattoo popularity in the Western world most probably has its origins in Egypt during the time of the construction of the great pyramids. When the Egyptians expanded their empire, the art of tattooing spread as well. The civilizations of Crete, Greece, Persia, and Arabia picked up and expanded the art form, and China joined in around 2000 BC.* 

Inked Faces by Mattia Passarini is a gallery featuring various tribal individuals sporting intricate tattoos. I found the most extreme to be the Ramnami of Chhattisgarh who tattoo the word "Ram" on their whole bodies. Also included are the Konya, the Khonds, the Baga, the Apatani; all from the far reaches of India. The Chin of Burma, the Li and Doling of China, and the Lawae of Laos are also represented. 

Mattia Passarini is an award-winning freelance photographer based in China since 2006. He is focused in photographing the remote corners of the globe and the cultures that inhabit them. His passion in capturing disappearing cultures, ancient rituals, and everyday life leads him to travel to the most neglected countryside areas. In recent years he focused his research on their varieties, locations, habits and especially on their visible distinguishing features, which they express through face tattoo and body modifications. His photographs are exhibited in museums, galleries, and photography festivals around the world.

* This website has a thorough history of tattoos.