Body art and dance meet at Paris tattoo fair

Body art and dance meet at Paris tattoo fair
By Mark Armstrong with AFP
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Hundreds of tattoo artists from around the world gathered in the French capital for the annual tattoo fair


Hundreds of tattoo aficionados gathered over the weekend in Paris for the annual World Tattoo Championship.

The three-day festival, now in its ninth year, is hoping to beat its record of 35,000 visitors in 2018. Many styles of body art have been on display ranging from cartoon characters to Polynesian and tribal designs.

The 420 tattoo artists present were in high demand, with South Korean Bigcat Cid, who specialises in Japanese designs, already fully booked on the first day.

After a short-lived career as a bartender, Bigcat Cid trained as a tattoo artist when he realised he was not satisfied with his own tattoos.

Department store manager, Fanny Micheulon, met Bigcat Cid last year and came to the festival to get a tattoo she said she had wanted for a long time, of a cat and serpent mid-combat.

"It already really hurts. It's going to take a long time," Micheulon said.

The tattoo will take three days to make, as it extends from the top of her back all the way down to her knees, so Micheulon will have to come back on each day of the festival.

Various styles were on display at the festival, ranging from cartoon characters to Polynesian and tribal designs.

Tahitian artist Chime, who now works in Bordeaux, said his clients were often aware of the cultural significance behind his designs.

He began inking people in the streets at the age of 14, growing up in the Maori culture where tattoos are part of tradition.

Marco Ojedr, who got his first tattoo from Chime, became a tattoo artist himself. He continues to add to his collection, saying that he finds the symbols inspiring.

Bigcat Cid and Chime were not the only ones imprinting their culture on their designs; other tattoo artists experimented with styles inspired by graphic novels, realism and traditional art.

The thinking behind the event is to blend tattooing with other arts and this year's theme is dance.

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