Borneo tattoo showcase receives overwhelming response

LEGENDARY: Robert (centre) and Ismail (second left) pose for a photo call with the organisers.

MIRI: ‘Nicely done’ – Deborah Nangan, ‘Great art to explore’ – Noorashikin Mohd Sabri, ‘Organize it again’ – Stephen Wong – these are some of the comments received from visitors to the BorneoTattoo Showcase held at the state library yesterday.

The showcase on ‘Getting To Know Borneo Tribal Tattoo’ (Mengenali Tatu / Seni Cacah Suku Bangsa Borneo) organised by Pustaka Miri recently attracted over 600 visitors to the library.

The two-day event (Feb 24 and 25 started) with an exhibition.

TAP TAP: A visitor getting a tattoo done using the traditional hand-tap method on his back.

TOOLS OF TRADE: These are Robert’s hand-tap tattoo equipments.

The aim of the showcase was to share the knowledge on the dying art of traditional Borneo tattoo, in particular Iban tattoos, as part of ways to perpetuate the culture.

On the first day of the exhibition, Ismail Lumut, a Borneo tattoo art researcher and enthusiast, presented a talk on the subject.

He was joined by a renowned tattoo artist Robert Mayau from Kapit.

They explained the significant aspects of getting tattoos for the tribes in Sarawak as well as the meaning of the traditional tattoos.

The next day saw Robert showing his skills in doing a rare hand-tap tattoo.

The intricate and unique yet time-consuming technique attracted many visitors to the library.

Robert, who is an internationally acclaimed tattooist, was also on hand throughout the exhibition to answer questions from visitors.

Apart from the demonstration and talk, there were booths selling tattoo-related T-shirts, books and other merchandises.

There were a number of visitors who got themselves permanent or temporary (henna) tattoos during the showcase.

The event was made more memorable with a gathering by nine local cars and motorcycle clubs exhibiting more than 100 cars, motorcycles and scooters at the library’s front courtyard.

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