Photos: A Saigon tattoo artist
VietNamNet Bridge - Truong Nhat An chose his career as a tattoo artist six years ago when he dropped out of university. So far, An has given tattoos to 1,500 people.
Born in 1989, he is a former student of the HCM City Arts University and the HCM City Architectural University, but he dropped out because he did not have a passion for them and wanted to find another direction.
The 25-year-old boy says that tattoos are a form of art and the people with tattoos are not "gangsters or playboys". An studies tattoos to show personal expression and meaning for different people. "Tattooing carries the language of art on the human body," An said.
An said a girl took him to a tattoo artist. He then studied more about tattooing from a man in Da Lat. After a long time working with this man, An returned to Saigon to open his own tattoo shop, shared with a friend. With time, more tattoos appear on his body. An said all the tattoos are associated with memories, emotions and intimate relationships.
The tattoo on his chest is a heart with wings to remind him of living with a wide-open heart, spreading your wings to go beyond them when facing difficulties. The tattoo under his chin is an eye to remind himself that not everything we see is true, so be careful with your judgements.
Tattoos on his legs are the proof for his passion for painting. Floral motifs and favorite characters that An has admired since he was a boy are on his legs. He said the most interesting tattoo is on the left knee: a compass in the middle which is surrounded by the names of his family name.
"You can live and go forward without your family. The compass reminds me of living and behaving properly," he said.
Being a tattoo artist who also has a lot of tattoos, An looks quite “different” from others.
In making a tattoo, the first thing is to print or draw the tattoo on paper and show it to the client. Once they agree, the image is printed on the skin.
The ink color must be mixed to the right color as the client wants.
A perfect tattoo needs good cooperation between the client and the tattoo artist.
For large-area tattoos, protecting the skin properly is very important.
A beautiful tattoo requires many things: the tattoo artist must be knowledgeable about art; tattoo supplies must be good; and the ink must be good too.
An always listens to his clients very carefully to give good advice to them.
He also studies medical knowledge in order to given advice on appropriate skin.
So far An has made tattoos for more than 1,500 people.
Many of them have become close friends of him, such as Isabel Chen, a girl full of personality.
"A tattoo is like a book that if you want to understand it you must read it, not only look the book cover. I do this job not for a living but for my passion,” he said.