Phuket Vegetarian Festival Photos

IAM:arco had a chance to head up to Phuket Thailand last month for the vegetarian festival (which involves, among other things, devotees having extremely large temporary piercings done in their cheeks into which elements of their lives are inserted). He’s written a little more about it on his page, and there is a full and growing gallery on BME as well.

Here are an assortment of some of my favorite pictures from the ones he took:

Jonathan’s Facial Cutting from Phuket

Along the same lines as the previous two entries is Jonathan‘s stunning facial cutting, another piece that just makes me so happy to see because it’s also so striking and beautiful.


Jonathan writes,

The design was an idea I’d had in mind for maybe 18 months to two years and was umming and ahhhing over whether to get it done or not. When I went out to Thailand I was lucky enough to get to hang out with John Durante and Ron Garza and had a chat with them about some possible work I’d been thinking about. Since I was in Phuket for the Vegetarian Festival which, essentially, is a festival celebrating blood rituals, I couldn’t think of a better time to get them done to go through my own blood ritual.

The initial plan was to get both sides of my head done in tandem, one side by Ron the other side by John but Ron had to leave before the festival ended so it was just John doing both sides. We spent about three hours lining them up, and then about half an hour cutting. I’m so glad I had them done. Even in a not so perfect environment he was excellent, hygienically, and professionally speaking and I’m happy to have met so many wonderful people including Ron and John on my journey

Joathan says there’s no specific meaning in the design, and that he just wanted something symmetrical that suited his face. Mission accomplished! Anyway, continue for more pictures.




The fresh photos are, of course, fresh, and the healing pictures are at about three weeks. Once our video facilities are back in full gear we’ll update this with a procedure video as well.

ModBlog News of the Week: October 7th, 2011

It’s time again for the news, but before I start I just want to wish a happy thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians.  This week’s news is back to the normal size thanks mostly to the many links that were sent my way.  As always, if you come across a story you think should be included, just send me the link in an e-mail.

To get things started is a pretty significant story out of Delaware County, PA.  Within the next 2 week, if a law is passed, it will become illegal for anyone other than a doctor to perform anything they consider an extreme modification.  This includes everything ranging from scarification and branding to full penectomies.  It also includes all types of suspension, which will force any suspension teams in Delaware County to stop completely, move out of state, or break the law.

Delaware County residents planning to have extreme body modification — including tongue-splitting, castration or penectomy — done at a lo cal tattoo parlor had better have it done in the next two weeks.  The Delaware County commissioners on Monday approved the first reading of a new, tougher tattoo and body piercing ordinance that included procedures that local health officials maintain are more suited for a medical office than a tattoo parlor.  A final vote on the ordinance — proposed by the county health department — could come as early as the commissioners’ Oct. 17 meeting.

Noting that the county’s 1998 tattoo and body piercing ordinance was one of the first in the state, heath department administrator Joshua Williams said the revised ordinance adds “prohibited” acts that are actually surgical and medical procedures.  They include branding and skin peeling as well as other forms of scarification, tongue splitting, suspension piercing — in which a person is suspended by hooks — and nullification, which includes the voluntary removal of body parts. “Most commonly, this means castration (and sometimes penectomy) amputation of fingers or toes or, in extreme cases, removal of full limbs,” according to the ordinance.  “It’s trending farther from tattoo and heading to medical procedures,” Williams told the commissioners.

County Attorney Jack Quirk questioned how often nullification, for example, was requested. Health department inspector Christiana Mann replied that the actions covered in the ordinance are offered and “happening” in Delaware County.The commissioners approved the first reading of the ordinance.Sean Gillespie, manager of Dragon Slayer Tattoo and Body Modification, said extreme body modification sometimes happens but is not a big part of his shop’s business.  “As far as the ordinance that’s in effect right now, we like it and don’t have a problem with it,” Gillespie said.

At Collins Classic Ink, Miniear said he had “heard through the grapevine” that the county was considering a new ordinance.  “I’ve been practicing scarification for five years,” he said. “It’s not a high market. I don’t understand why it’s become a problem.”  Miniear said he has done suspension piercing performances in the past. “It’s more of a spiritual thing for me and a lot of people I know,” he said. “It’s not just a shock value thing.”

So Delaware ModBlog readers, let those around you know that this is being considered by the county.  In order for this to be stopped the state needs to be aware of how this will negatively impact the Delaware modified and suspension communities.

More news to come including a celebrity story that had me laughing so hard I had to break my own rule about posting celebrity crap.

Before we get to the celebrity news I just mentioned, there’s a lot of real news to cover first.

This week brings us yet another member of the “Don’t commit a crime if you have a distinctive facial tattoo” club.  This past week, convicted sex offender Michael Campbell was picked up for violating his parole by getting within 500 feet of a public swimming pool.  The reason he got caught?  He’s pretty easy to spot in a crowd.

Greene County, Missouri, deputies arrested a very unusual looking suspect over the weekend.  They arrested Michael Campbell, 36, a Colorado native and convicted sex offender. Deputies say he was busted for coming within 500 feet of a playground or public pool. Campbell was booked into the county lockup Sunday and later released.

Campbell’s face and neck are completely covered in tattoos. The art includes tattoos of Frankenstein, a spider and a bow tie. Previous mugshots from 2003 show only a couple of tattoos on his face.

Of course just because someone has facial tattoos it doesn’t make them a bad person.  But to this day people are discriminated against.  Even in New Zealand, where having a Ta Moko is part of the cultural history of the country, people still get discriminated against.  Just last week a bar in Christchurch asked a man to leave because of his facial tattoos.

On Saturday, Tunahau Kohu went to the Inwoods Rd bar with his partner.

He said he was approached by a staff member as he sat down to watch Australia play Russia in a Rugby World Cup match at 3.30pm and told to leave because the business did not allow people with facial and neck tattoos in the bar.  Ta moko is a traditional Maori tattoo – a visual language that connects the wearers to their whakapapa (genealogy).

Kohu said he had bought a drink and played the gaming machines before the game.  ”They said it is their policy that they don’t allow people with facial tattoos. I tried to explain that my moko isn’t a facial tattoo. Every line and circle has a meaning to it,” he said.  ”They said if I didn’t leave they would ring the police. They weren’t interested in my explanation of what it meant.”

Claims of racial discrimination were soon posted on the bar’s Facebook page.  Forsdick told The Press the after the bar’s recent refurbishment, he and owner Louis Vieceli had tightened the dress code, meaning nobody with facial or neck tattoos would be allowed in the premises. “Two or three people with facial tattoos were also asked to leave” the premises on Saturday, he said.  ”This is not a racial issue.  This is about making our premises and our environment be one that is welcoming for all clientele.”  Forsdick said the incident prompted some regular customers to leave, and Kohu did not explain the significance of his moko.  Had Kohu made that clear ”we would have taken that into consideration”, Forsdick said.

This afternoon, before watching media, Forsdick shook Kohu’s hand and said he was welcome back though the bar’s policy on tattoos remained.

However, Kohu later said that despite accepting the apology, “I don’t think he deserved my handshake”.  “I wish I didn’t give it now.” NZ Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson said bars were entitled to eject “anyone they wish” as long as their decision was not based on ethnicity, gender or disability. This would breach the Human Rights Act.  Asked if mokos should be treated in the same way as other facial tattoos, Robertson said it depended on the moko.  “It depends on the nature of the moko, its authenticity and whether there were other issues involved.” He added he did not know enough about this incident to comment specifically.  The Human Rights Commission confirmed it had received a complaint about the incident.

I’m sorry, I’m not from New Zealand but even I know that a Moko isn’t just a random facial tattoo.  Unless there’s some element I’m missing out I would assume that most New Zealanders would know that.

Moving on, the Android app marketplace came under fire earlier this week for selling an app entitled “Is my son gay?“  The app asked a series of 20 questions, one of which was “Does he piercings in his tongue, nose or ears?”.  Because you know, if you have piercings, that must mean you’re gay.  After a number of complaints were made, the app was removed from the store.

When it comes to sports there isn’t normally a lot of body modification related stories, well this week 2 different articles focused on athletes that are visibly modified, and both were very positive.  In the first article pitcher Ryan Roberts from the Arizona Diamondbacks was interviewed by Yahoo Sports.

Ryan Roberts of the Arizona Diamondbacks said he appreciates when people ask him about his many, many tattoos. The subject never gets boring to him — which is fortunate, because he is covered from neck to toe in ink, his nickname is “Tatman” and he fields lots of questions about all of it.

“I can’t say they shouldn’t [ask],” Roberts told Big League Stew. “When I first started getting tattoos, I never expected to get a lot. Over the course of my life, everything started happening for a reason. If people want to know why, I’ll definitely explain the reasons behind them. If someone’s interested, I’m honored to tell them.”

Roberts, who turned 31 in September, said he gets tattoos in order to show what inspires him: his Christian religion, as it relates to family and his other life experiences, including baseball. The first tats others probably notice are the Japanese characters for “family” on the left side of his neck. And there’s a whole lot more where that came from.

If you check out some of the other photos in the article one of them looks like he may have a scarification piece on his ribs, although it could just be white ink.

The second story is from ESPN and features roller derby star Suzy Hotrod.  She was one of a number of athletes chosen for 2011′s “Bodies We Want” feature.  Tara e-mailed me the link to this story and had this to say:

ESPN’s “Bodies We Want” issue came out today. The idea behind the gallery is to showcase the human athletic form, not nakedness, but the two seem to come hand in hand. In the middle of the gallery there’s a photo of Roller Derby’s own Suzy Hotrod – full colour, with ink.  Being a derby player myself, I wanted to share the story – but I also think it’s amazing that with 20ish naked people in a row, she was the only one with immediately visible modifications.

Unfortunately ESPN uses flash so in order to see the photos and read what they had to write you’ll have to head on over to the site.Alright, it’s time to bring back (hopefully just for this week) the celebrity round-up.  My apologies in advance, but this was too funny not to share.

Pop star Ke$ha has apologized to rocker pal Andrew W.K. after her attempt to tattoo him resulted in an infection.

The rocker recently invited Ke$ha to try out her skin art skills on him, but he was left requiring medical attention when the ink effort turned bad.  He told, “It got infected. It’s an unfortunate aftermath and my body ended up rejecting the ink and I had to go to the doctor. But it actually left a nice scar which was, in fact, cooler than the tattoo that’s in the exact shape of the tattoo.”

Now Ke$ha has offered up an apology of sorts on – although she insists it wasn’t her fault.  Addressing the tattoo mishap in a tweet on Wednesday, she writes, “Not my fault. His safety pin. His pen. But at least it looks cool. Party.

So you see, it wasn’t her fault he got an infection from her because she used his pen and safety pin when she tattooed him.  To be fair, it was his fault he asked a pop singer with an unpronounceable name to jab him with a pin when they were both drunk after a show.

Well that’s it for this week’s news.  I am going to leave you with a couple of things to enjoy over the weekend.  First is a photo gallery from this year’s vegetarian festival in Phuket, Thailand.

And finally here is the first in a series of three videos by Dabe Alan and Tony Touch.  The videos are all stop motion of the sleeve that Tony is tattooing on Dabe.  Watch the related videos for the other parts.

Have a great weekend everyone!

ModBlog News of the Week: October 29th, 2010

October is just about over, but there’s still time for one last edition of the ModBlog News of the Week for the month.  Before we get started, I just wanted to thank everyone who sent in stories this week, Taylor, Christian, Lauranomaly, Botexty, and Nexizydrate to name a few.  Submitting an article is easy, all you have to do is click here and fill out the boxes.

The first story today was submitted about 10 times, so there way no way it wouldn’t kick off the news of the week.

I’m sure most tattooed people, as well as artists, have joked around about getting tattooed with a penis instead of the intended design.  It’s that running gag that nobody ever acts on.  Until now.

Police allege the man, who was not a professional tattooist, talked his friend into having the tattoo while the friend was visiting him at home.  After the 25-year-old victim got home, he was horrified to discover the tattoo was far from what he expected.  Instead of a Yin and Yang symbol with some dragons, the tattoo featured a 40cm-long image of a penis and a slogan implying he was gay. He contacted police and they charged the 21-year-old Bundamba man with assault occasioning bodily harm.

I looked everywhere for an image of the tattoo, but it seems that most mainstream news sources have some policy against posting pictures of dicks.  How lame is that?  But wait, the story gets better.

Police allege the tattooing followed a disagreement between the pair that culminated with the Bundamba man taking offence at something the victim said.  Ipswich CIB Detective Constable Paul Malcolm said the victim was extremely upset.  “Apparently he went round to the other bloke’s house and somehow in the course of the conversation the subject of tattoos came up,” Const Malcolm said.  ”The victim wasn’t interested at first but he was talked into it and he said he wanted a Yin and Yang symbol with some dragons.  He rolled him on to his stomach and the bloke started doing the tattoo and there was another bloke standing there watching saying, ‘Mate, it’s looking really good’.  He was told not to go out into the sun and not to show anyone for a few weeks.  When he got home he showed it to the person he lives with and she said: ‘I don’t think it’s the tattoo you were after’.”

To add insult to injury, he was allegedly punched and thrown out of the Bundamba man’s house after he was tattooed.

So, to get this straight, after getting into a fight with someone, this man was then talked into getting tattooed by the same guy.  I’m willing to put money that alcohol was somehow involved in this situation.

Next up, and in a completely unrelated story, has an excellent photo gallery of the recent Phuket Vegetarian Festival.  It’s absolutely worth checking out.


A devotee of the Chinese shrine of Sapam, pierces his cheeks with swords during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival on October 10, 2010 in Phuket, Thailand. (Getty Images)

We’re just getting started, so kick back and relax, and keep on reading.

Heading back to Australia, it seems that the Australian Red Cross is blaming tattoos for the current blood shortage they’re undergoing.

The Australian Red Cross turned away more than 2100 people in NSW when they went to give blood because of a little-known rule that excludes donors who have recently had a tattoo.  The news comes as NSW battles with a low supply of blood products, especially types O and A, with the State’s stockpile only two-thirds full. Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokeswoman Lisa Borges said the knock-backs were because of the service’s strict rules around preventing potentially contaminated blood entering the stockpile.  She said that with more people getting themselves tattooed, especially younger people, the Red Cross was being forced to turn away blood products it could desperately use, as each of those 2100 deferred donations could save three lives.

So while it is understandable that the Red Cross needs to have a grace period between getting tattooed and donating blood, to imply that the only reason there is a shortage is because young people are getting tattooed is a bit on the unreasonable side.  I’m sure there are more people not tattooed than are that aren’t lining up to donate.  Then again I could make some obligatory joke about Aussies and prison tattoos, but that would also be in poor taste.

It seems this week was a banner week for artists who like to sexually assault their customers.  First in the UK, an artist has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two girls (15 and 16) after he finished tattooing them.

Tattooist Andrew Simpson has been told to expect a prison sentence for two assaults on girls.

Simpson, of Kissingate, Burton Pidsea, targeted a 16-year-old girl on November 6 last year when he decorated her leg with a tattoo.  At the end of the session he sexually assaulted her.  On January 23, he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl following a 45-minute session in which he inked a tattoo on her back.

Back stateside, an artist in Tampa Bay has also been accused of fondling his female clients.

Charles Lyndon Harper Jr. 41, was placing mineral oil and plastic wrap on one woman’s newly inked, upper leg tattoo when he slipped his hand inside her bikini and touched her without permission, a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office report said.  The woman left the business at 11632 U.S. 19 and called authorities. Harper admitted touching the woman but said he thought he had permission because she was “flirty,” the sheriff’s report said.

He went on to admit he does this often.  So for the time being, it may be best to avoid getting tattooed by him, unless you’re into that sort of thing.

In much more positive news, the San Francisco Chronicle has an interesting story about corset piercings, and surprisingly isn’t biased against them.

Photo: Mark Krauss

Photo: Mark Krauss. Monique Millier, 22, is a two-time corset piercer.

Familiar to body manipulation enthusiasts, corset piercing is now becoming more mainstream as young women, inspired by photos circulating on Facebook and other social media sites, are starting to wear them to prom, as Halloween or Burning Man costumes, or for weddings and gay pride parades.

This week also brings two looks into the history of tattoos around the world.

First, at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, DE people can stop by this weekend to check out an exhibit entitled “Tall Tales and Tattoos“.

The program will feature Andrew “Spider” Miller who will spin tall tales and share his collection of “gaffs” — bizarre make-believe creatures that have been hand-crafted by skilled artisans. They are similar in style to the 19th century oddities known as “Fiji Mermen” which often featured animal heads crafted onto the bodies of fish. Such creations were conceived as pranks or side show curiosities at a time when sea captains were returning from the newly opened ports of East Asia with tall tales of exotic, never-before-seen creatures. An example is the Zwaanendael Merman, which can be seen at the museum in conjunction with Miller’s presentation.

The program will also feature tattoo artist Peggi Hurley of Ancient Art Tattoo studio in Lewes who will discuss the art and history of tattoos. Hurley, a native of Rehoboth Beach, was named the 1986 National Tattoo Association’s “Best Tattooed Woman.” She studied the art of tattooing with Don Nolan, Gill Montie and Bill Hannong and has operated a tattoo studio in Delaware since 1994.

If you have time in November and you live in or near London, you should head on over to the Russian Criminal Tattoo Archive, as they’re holding their first gallery showing of the works of Danzig Baldaev.

Danzig Baldaev grew up in a Russian children’s home, his father having been denounced as an enemy of the people. He was later ordered to take a job as a warden in Kresty, an infamous Leningrad prison, where he worked from 1948 to 1981. It was a job that allowed Baldaev to continue his father’s work as an ethnographer – by documenting the tattoos of criminals. Heavy with symbolism and hidden meanings, the tattoos depicted a complex world of hierarchies, disgraces and achievements. Mostly anti-Soviet and frequently obscene, they are a portal into a violent world that ran alongside the worst excesses of the Communist era.

The KGB found out about Baldaev’s tattoo project but, incredibly, they sanctioned it. “They realised the value of being able to establish the facts about a convict or criminal: his date and place of birth, the crimes he had committed, the camps where he had served time, and even his psychological profile,” Baldaev wrote, shortly before his death in 2005.

The Guardian has an excellent story detailing Danzig’s work, and how they became public.

Now, what would this week be if we didn’t have people screwing up royally with their modifications?

Everyone by now has heard of cosmetic tattooing.  The practice has been going on for years now in beauty salons.  But what happens if your brown eyebrow tattoos suddenly turn purple?

Question: I had my eyebrows tattooed in 2003. A few years later, they turned purple. I have ash-blond hair and wanted a medium-brown eyebrow color. I am looking for eyebrow makeup to cover the purplish color, which is especially noticeable when I go outside into bright sunlight. It’s embarrassing. Even my 5-year-old granddaughter said she likes my eyebrows because they are purple!

Of course it’s not just cosmetic tattoos that can go wrong.  Take Manchester City fan Simon Hart.  He’s a huge fan of his team, and will do anything to support them.  The day he found out Wayne Rooney was to be traded to Man City, he did what any true fan would do: go out and get “Rooney City Legend” tattooed on his back.  Nothing could possibly go wrong with this right?

Hart’s absurd body art depicts Rooney celebrating in a Man City uniform with the words ‘Rooney, City Legend’ emblazoned underneath.

Unfortunately, his crazy homage turned stupid real quick after Rooney signed a five-year contract extension with United last Friday.

But hey, it only covers his entire upper back.  I’m sure nobody will notice.  Heck, him and the penis guy can go out for beers.

Now when it comes to DIY piercings, knowledge is key.  Knowing how to pierce yourself safely is the single most important thing.  Of course, there will always be people who don’t care if they’re safe or not, or even if they’re doing it right.  Unfortunately it’s people like them that end up in the news after being rushed into emergency surgery.

A month ago, without consulting his parents or a professional, he made the hole in his tongue and attached a metal ring, causing almost immediate pain. As he thought it would pass in a few days, he left the ring in.  A few days later, an infection made it difficult for him to speak or eat, so he removed the ring; but when the pain receded a bit, he put it back in place. But this time, the tongue was so swollen and inflamed that the ring disappeared deep inside the tongue.

When he finally told his mother, she rushed him to the hospital, where doctors were able to observe the ring only in a CT scan. As his tongue was so large, it threatened to choke him, and he was sent to intensive care in serious condition.   Dr. Miki Pecker said that when he was admitted, it was clear his life was in danger. Not only was the ring not sterile, but it was inserted into a part of the tongue not suited to piercing. It will take a while until the pain fades, he added.

And that’s it for the real news, now onto the celebrity round-up!

Hillary Duff was shocked to discover that a fan whose arm she had signed went out and got the signature tattooed on himself.  The rest of the world was shocked to discover that Hillary Duff has a fan.

David Beckham is starting to rub off on his kids, and of course the media blew it completely out of proportion.  According to The Sun, that bastion of journalistic integrity, Beckham allowed his 11-year-old son to get tattooed.  Of course rational heads seemed to have prevailed as someone pointed out that it was probably just drawn on.

Finally, everyone’s favorite singer, Miley Cyrus, has shocked the world by ditching her “clean image” and getting a “sleeve tattoo”.  Of course, by sleeve tattoo they really meant some small script on her forearm that matches the one her mother has.  I’m also pretty sure she ditched her “clean image” a few years back when she was pole dancing on some kids awards show.  Then again, to some that’s just healthy behavior for a kid, while getting tattooed is a sign of moral decay.

That’s it for this week’s news.  Everyone have a safe and fun Halloween, and we’ll see you back here Monday morning when we kick off Movember (aka No Shave November).