In this documentary we follow Dutch tattoo artist Rob Admiraal on his trip to Japan where he goes to have a huge dragon tattoo on his back finished, do some tattooing himself and visit other leading Japanese tattooists.
Admiraal gives us a guided tour of Japanese tattooing and explains how traditional art and modern, Western influences each play their part in what tattoo in Japan has become today. He also talks about his personal tastes and preferences and does not hesitate to go deeper into more theoretical aspects of the art, such as the balance between representation and abstraction, typical for Oriental art.
An intriguing scene in the documentary is that in which Admiraal gets the very last part of his huge tattoo done: the eyes of the dragon, which will “bring it to life”. It is nice to see how this Dutch fellow at the same time acknowledges the importance of this almost magical gesture but also stays clear-headed and never seems to get carried away by all the “Orientalism” in which he is surrounded. I don’t know the guy, but I already like him…
The film was made by Rogier Postma. You can find more of his work on his blog.
And you can find more on Rob Admiraal on his website.