Tattoo in the Chinese language is called Wen Shen or Ci Shen. The term means literally to puncture the body. Tattoo has been known and practiced in China for many years. But it was never considered to be something artistic, desirable, or even acceptable. A commonly held notion is that one’s body is a precious gift from the parent and therefore should never be abused or defaced by a tattoo.
In fact, tattoo was done as a punishment by piercing needles into the body to deface it permanently. Many years ago, when a court found a person guilty of a severe crime, it would order a tattoo be placed on his face, and banished him to a far-way place for a number of years. The tattoo on the face permanently marked the person as a criminal. This punishment is called ‘ci pei’ or tattoo-exile.
The most famous tattoo in Chinese history is of Yueh Fei who was a famous general in the South Song Dynasty. When he served under a Field Marshal defending the enemy from the North, The Field Marshal went over to the enemy. Disgusted, Yueh Fei resigned and returned home to care for his mother, who told him that his first duty is for his country and got the words tattooed on his back. However, it’s the dragon tattoo that is most commonly pierced. You can see pictures of dragon tattoos and body piercing in galleries specializing in cover-ups and removal.
The art of piercing and tattoo has developed remarkably. There are a number of studios devoted to improving designs and techniques of piercing the body for temporary or permanent effect. You can see some stunning tattoo pictures and enjoy fascinating interviews with top tattooists and tattooed models online or in magazines.
Tattoo art is a feast for the eyes and food for the brain and has quickly become a hot favorite of the discerning body art enthusiast.