Ten Questions: Adam Sage

Into You Tattoo has long been regarded as an innovative and forward-thinking tattoo shop. The shop’s London and Brighton locations host a number of well-regarded tattooists who actively push the limits of tattooing both aesthetically and technically. Such is the case for Adam Sage, who work’s out of Into You’s Brighton location, and creates seemingly flawless tattoos – strictly without electricity. We recently had a chance to discuss with Adam why he chooses to work this way, his views on tattooing, and where he draws inspiration from, among a number of other things. To see more of Adam’s work be sure to visit his Instagram and personal website.

To start, could you talk about your introduction to tattooing? What is your earliest memory of tattooing, did you decide to become a tattooer, and from that point, how did you go about learning?

The very first tattoo I ever saw was my Dad’s. He is dotted with classics from the seventies on his arms, back and chest. Later on in life I learnt that he had also tattooed himself a little bit. The first time i got tattooed was in 1996, in Canterbury, I was 16. It was a gritty studio with chain smokers queuing up to get in the chair. There was a guy there getting his face tattooed and that blew my mind! I thought to myself where had all these people been hiding?

I knew I wanted to be tattooed and probably be a tattooist, but back then I did not have the confidence to go for it right away. I went to art college and amazingly a tattoo shop was on the list of places we could go for work placement. Through Steve Graves at The Tattoo [...]

Review: Tatoueurs et Tatoués at Quai Branly Museum

With innovative displays and an unprecedented roster of contributors, Tatoueurs et Tatoués, is an ambitious new exhibition in Paris that aims to explore the multifaceted nature of tattoos and tattooing: from  social markers to sites of cultural exchange to works of aesthetic beauty. Curated by Anne & Julien and advised by famed French tattooer Tin-Tin, the exhibition displays works from tattooers from Europe, America, Asia, and Oceania: Filip Leu, Dong Dong, Xed Lehead, Horiyoshi III, Mark Kopua, and many, many others. Attending simply to view the fantastic array work would be an acceptable end.

Tattooing, as a form that lives on a moving body, is not especially conducive to a museum setting, and Tatoueurs et Tatoués sets a remarkable precedent for tattoo exhibitions in the future. In a collaboration with Atelier 69, the museum developed a skin-like silicon, from which thirteen “body excepts” were cast from live models. The excerpts were then given to thirteen tattooers who tattooed directly on the “skin.” Curators also sent blank canvasses to 20 other tattooers, who used more traditional art materials to map “body suits” onto them. These materials were then combined with a series of photographs, featuring the work of Guy Le Tatooer and Jonas Nyberg among others, and displayed along with the more traditional “archival”documents one might find an anthropology exhibition.

To me, the role of tattoos as objects of display, both within the museum exhibition and without, is all-important. Tattoos, given their attachment to the body, have managed to defy commodification, partially as a result of their inability to be displayed and thus sold. Of course, mounted skins and flash have their own history of display, but the curatorial decision to create ersatz tattoos from paper and silicon is especially interesting. Anne [...]

Social exclusion in the Zongo

It’s easy to forget that even in our hyper connected, hyper-global, world that we live in where most people spend their time either on the phone and or computer screen, that social exclusion is still an issue that pervades the virtual and non-virtual spheres of everyday life. From minute instances attributed to income, age and gender to the exclusionary practice experienced by so called “newbs” on sites such as 4-chan and twitter to the ongoing practice of exclusion faced by the working poor, social exclusionary practices are something we either continue to face or have faced at some point in varying degrees. Since the mid-2000s in Japan, for example, there has been very xenophobic sentiments from right-wing group Action Conservative Movement toward immigrants of both Korean and Chinese decent (similar to past xenophobic attitudes towards Jews in Germany, and Black South Africans and Armenians and Kurds in the middle east) that have found its primary voice on the internet and increasingly in non-virtual spaces via public demonstrations. These demonstrations call for the exclusion of Chinese and Korean people from all matters of ethnic Japanese cultural lifestyle. The goal of many of these discriminatory sentiments is to highlight the impurity of the “other” as a major detriment to the perceived establishment and progression of “authentic” culture. Foreigners, minorities, and anyone not Japanese is seen as impure and must thus be socially excluded for the sake of social and economic harmony through the banning/shaming of intermarriage, prevention of upward social mobility, and many times the gerrymandering of specific districts to isolate them geographically.

Zongo areas in the West African country of Ghana are certainly characteristic of this notion in that many of its inhabitant Zongorians, mainly the Moslem population, are shunned by the [...]

Nobuyoshi Araki: Love on the Left Eye

Araki, erotic master and one of Japan’s most prevalent visual documentarians, known for a graphic subversion of his artistic ancestry, has released a new book and coinciding exhibition Love on the Left Eye.

The title refers to photographer Ed van der Elsken’s long-time out of print Love on the Left Bank, which Araki is quoted to have seen in his twenties, prompting a series of women in poses inspired by the book, a visual narrative following the story of a bohemian living in Paris, one of the first of its kind to record the salacious and debauched world of European youth culture.

Following the partial loss of sight last year, the series shows a selection of images taken using his now solely functioning left eye. Taking his signature subject matter, delicate floral still lifes and intimate shots of binding debauchery, the provocateur masked the right side of each negative with black marker and developed each image as a representation of his new personal, and permanent, visual experience, transforming a would-be-devastating malady into a kind of artistic rebirth.  “Death comes towards us all, you know,” he says. “I don’t want to approach it myself, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s coming. You just have to laugh it off.”

The exhibition is on show at Tokyo’s Taka Ishii gallery until June 21st.

Sang Bleu London pop up tattoo shop in Selfridges

Starting from yesterday London’s esteemed department store Selfridges will be hosting Sang Bleu tattoo studio within its walls. For the next two weeks Sang Bleu will be providing a complete concept on the ground floor. The space will enable experiencing the possibilities of being tattooed by one of Sang Bleu’s desired artists, access to the limited online clothing collection or to finally owning one of renowned magazines from the project.

Alongside Maxime Buchi, tattooers Damien Electric, Phillip Yarnell, Rafel Delalande and Delmaire Renaud will be creating tattoos in the space. Maxime will also be tattooing a special selection of flash designs on a walk in basis over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of June.

Despite many of these tattoo artists waiting lists, the pop up studio will present customers with the opportunity to book in with many of these in demand artists. The studio will operate on a basis of walk in’s and bookings where appointments can be booked by emailing bookings@sangbleu.com or by visiting the studio.

The space will be open Monday to Fridays from 1-9pm and on Sundays from 12-6.30

The macabre history of severed hands

Article re-blogged from strangeremains.com

The Hand of Glory displayed at the Whitby Museum in England. Image Credit: The Whitby Museum

A traditional form of punishment, under Sharia, Islamic law, and in Medieval Europe involved publically amputating a criminal’s body part, often the one used to commit a crime. The pain of the amputation and the shame of the permanent mark served as punishment for the criminal, while display of the severed limb functioned as a sinister warning to all onlookers-follow in this guy’s footsteps and you will suffer a similar fate. This macabre tradition likely has its roots in the  Code of Hammurabi.

The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian code of laws from ancient Mesopotamia-now Iraq-enacted by Hammurabi, the sixth Babylonian king. This ancient set of laws dates to about 1772 BC and is one of the oldest translated writings in the world. Today partial copies exist on stone stele and clay tablets. The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled penalties, also known as “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” “Eye for an eye” is a legal principle where exact reciprocity is used to mete out justice depending on social status, i.e. free man versus slave. For example, if a person caused the death of another person, the killer would be put to death; if a man has knocked out the eye of an aristocrat, his eye would also be knocked out; and if a son has struck his father, his hands would be cut off.

In Europe the severed hands of criminals were displayed like relics to prevent future grievances. There were a couple of examples of these amputated limbs displayed in Europe in the last couple of years. In each case the owner of [...]

XroniX’s photographs of the publics reaction to her appearance

Polish, transexual, vegan, straight edge.
Into body modification world since a teenager.She offers all forms of piercings, scarification, implants, tongue splitting, ear reconstrucion and body modification in general.
In addition, her favourite – eyeball tattooing.

Currently living in London and working part time in Extreme Needle in the city centre.

Loves her work/lifestyle and showing people that they can break away from stereotypes and set themselves free through body modifications. (source)


. I have been speaking to body modification artist Xronix recently after looking through her Facebook  and finding a photo album filled with images that she takes in retaliation to strangers taking her photo in public. The images strike you as being instantly quite mundane, usually within the space of London’s public transport but theres something so wonderful about the glimmer of shame (or ambivilence) filtering through the member of the publics faces as they realise they’ve been caught violating Xronix’s personal space.  Rather than accepting stranger’s decision to treat her like an zoo animal, Xronix has spoken to us about her feelings and documentation of the publics reaction to her appearance. 


How often do you find people taking photographs of you?

It depends sometimes it happens a few times a day sometimes once every few days, but quite often. Obviously depends on how creative I was in the morning with my make up and outfit.

What has been the most obvious case of someone taking your photo? . Well well well. I could talk about it for ages but the most silly one is when I move and can see somebodys camera following me, so it’s like a cat and mouse, and then sounds and flash… when I approach people they panic, sometimes without even asking anything they start to scream- ‘I didn’t take the [...]