|Truong Thanh Dinh
When Truong Thanh Dinh came home with a tattoo on his chest, his mother yelled at him, saying that only gangsters get tattoos on their body.
Dinh, 23, explained to his mother how much he loves her and that he got her portrait tattooed as a reminder of her motivation in everything he does.
“My mother has become much more interested in the tattoo,” Dinh told the Vietnam News Agency.
“Sometimes, she looks at it and wonders how one can make a tattoo look so real, so much like her.”
In Vietnam, tattoos used to hold largely negative connotations in society. People typically associated tattoos with gangs and criminals.
Now, things changed.
Quang Pham, a Hanoian tattoo artist, said tattoos have now become widely accepted as an art form rather than a stigma. Some tattoos are even seen to make positive changes in their wearers.
Hanoi teenager Nguyen Quang Huy has a Buddha tattoo on his shoulder.
Huy said he has had to face numerous difficulties in his life and the tattoo marked a turning point in his life.
“Since having it (the Buddha tattoo) done, I feel like I carry the symbol of good luck,” he said.
“Many of my friends get tattoos to mark an important event in their lives. Some get motivational quotes.”
In June, the first-ever Vietnam Tattoo Expo was held in Hanoi, with the participation of hundreds of tattoo artists and fans at home and abroad.
Apart from offering a playground for the tattoo community, the event helped the public to see how rich and interesting the tattoo world is.
Vietnamese tattoo artists are proving their talent and skills, and have actively connected with international artists to advance their skills, technique, and update their style.
They are serving not only Vietnamese but also foreign clients.
Kody Batchelor is an American tourist and he wants to have a Vietnamese-style tattoo during his visit to Vietnam.
“Vietnamese artists are so talented,” Kody said.
He likes the beautiful fusion of tradition, history, and new modern forms in Vietnamese tattooing.
Emile Rousseau, a French tattoo artist, has worked in Vietnam for three and a half years. He has developed a good connection with the tattoo market in Vietnam.
“Many Vietnamese artists are very good, showing off their art ability and style,” Emile said.
The French tattooist has expressed his belief that in five years, Vietnam will be a very big country for tattoos.
Quang Pham is among numerous Vietnamese tattoo artists who feel positive about a full-time stable career in the tattoo market, where they can pursue their passion and earn money at the same time.
He remarked that tattooists in the country must always improve their techniques and skills to ensure the safety of their clients during the inking process.
Tattooists also need to have good background knowledge to introduce Vietnamese culture into their works so the tattoos can reflect Vietnamese culture.