Monday Sep 29, 2008

Sun Wukong and Me

I'll start this entry off with part of an email my mom recently sent me:

  i remember a wonderful drawing in the book, not unlike what 
  you are having tattooed on you.  and, i remember that he could 
  cause great mischief in order to teach people things.  that is 
  the memory i have of it.  i think you did  like it a lot.

My memories of my childhood are sketchy at best, so I'll have to trust mom on this. I do know that I've been interested in Sun Wukong since I started traveling to China. I've also had a need to cover-up a tattoo from a previous life. So, when I saw a bust of Sun Wukong done in incredible detail on someone's calve in the gym, I knew it was time to get this done.

Tattooing here seems to be different than in the States. I didn't just walk off the street into a store. It was more cloak-and-dagger. Although the store was advertised online, my friend and I met the tattoo artist on a street corner ("just look for a Chinese person and a foreigner," he said to her in Chinese when describing us). She then guided us to a small clothing shop, through to a rear door, and into her parlor. (Yes, the needles were new.)

The first session lasted three hours. I've now got a truly breathtaking image of Sun Wukong in the midst of strike sketched-out over my left pec and running up over my trap, with just a hint of the work visible when I wear a crew-neck t-shirt . All in all, the tattoo is about eight inches by six inches. I'll be going back in about eight days to have the fill done. It's supposed to take at least another three hours to complete... I'm looking forward to it.


Here's a (reduced) scan of the stencil used to blue-line my tattoo. stencil.jpg
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