Looking at these women, it's hard to believe that they once went to school in uniforms, with the same hairstyle as their classmates and with no make-up at all - the characteristics of a typical Chinese schoolgirl. Now they draw arrows on their eyes with eyeliner, are clad in ripped jeans and inked in stunning tattoos.
When talking to these tattoo fans, none of them seem to complain about their friends and family having a lack of understanding for their tattoos. It seems that the attitude towards tattooed girls in China is changing from one of taboo to a more loyal outlook.
20 years old, tattoo artist @ Qiantattoo salon, Shanghai
"I specialize in old school style tattoos. Some clients choose a tattoo based on the sketches that I do in my spare time, and others come up with their own ideas for tattoos."
30 years old, tattoo artist @Chinaink tattoo parlor, Hangzhou
"Tattoos for me is my true love. I got my first tattoo when I was 23. My parents were not against it, but didn’t support it either. I love all my tattoos, whether they are beautiful or not, they are symbols of different periods of my life."
28 years old, senior tattoo artists @Chinaink, Hangzhou
"I once accidentally saw an ad that a tattoo studio was looking for apprentices, so I went along and applied. To create tattoos, you should have a basic knowledge of drawing, and all my life I studied art and art is a big part of my life.
Tattoos are is not a product you buy from a store, they are not a product from created on a production line, they are the result of interactions between the client and the tattoo artist. They are art, and art alone."
20 years old, singer
"For me, tattoos are a memory of a certain period of my life. My tattoo of an owl - a symbol of the night. I love the night (because) it's quiet. "
Meng Xiaoruo （孟晓若）
28 years old, professional photographer, Hangzhou
"Why do I have tattoos? Previously, I just thought it was cool, but now it has become a reflection of my attitude to life. I do not understand why the Chinese believe that if a girl has a tattoo, if she smokes and drinks, then she is a bad girl. You can’t hang a label on a person only by their appearance. I myself do not smoke. My tattoos, they are personal to me, they don’t apply to other people, this is what I like most about them. Some of my tattoos remind me of certain people or events, and others are simply meaningless with a beautiful pattern."
28 years, the owner of Tattoo Family, Shanghai
"I get tattoos for the memories, when I’m old, I will tell my children stories related to my tattoos."
29 years old, tattoo artist @Zhenzan tattoo studio, Shanghai
"I specialize in old school and new school styles. I got my first tattoo when I was 25, now I have five tattoos. I prefer colored tattoos, they look better on light skin. "
Photography by Eugene Bochkarev and Alexander Schadrov
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