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Royal Ontario Museum's new exhibition explores tattoo traditions and culture
Tattooing kit. Rennell Island, Salomon, Melanesia. Early 20th century Musée du quai Branly, Paris Inv. 71.1961.103.85.1-2 © musée du quai, photo Claude Germain.



TORONTO.- The Royal Ontario Museum opens its new exhibition, Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art., on Saturday, April 2, 2016. On display in the Museum’s Roloff Beny Gallery, the show explores the multifaceted world of tattooing and the complex relationship between tattoo artists and tattooed. Coming from the musée du quai Branly in Paris, Tattoos showcases a visual history of body art and markings along with prints, posters, ancient tools, and commissioned tattooed silicone body reproductions inked by some of the most respected tattooists in the world.

The ROM’s exhibition is curated by Chris Darling, Senior Curator of Entomology, and Kenneth Lister, Assistant Curator of Anthropology. Featured are over 200 objects including many loaned from the quai Branly, and private lenders across Europe, along with nearly two dozen objects from the ROM’s Arctic, Egyptian, Pacific, East Asian and Natural History collections. Tracing tattoos across continents and over time, the exhibition examines tattoo artists and the tattooed, exploring the factors that have made tattooing an important cultural practice, an art form, and a worldwide modern phenomenon. Highlights include nine documentary videos showing various aspects of tattooing in different cultures and 13 silicone body parts inked by leading tattoo artists including Tin-Tin (France), Horiyoshi III (Japan), Filip Leu (Switzerland), Paul Booth (USA), Chimé (Polynesia), and Yann Black (Montreal).

“The exhibition brings to life the more than 5,000 year-old history of tattoos, exploring these ancient practices and their cultural significance. It will inspire ROM visitors to consider how the complex traditions of ink under the skin are constantly changing and have led to the global phenomenon of body art,” said Chris Darling, Senior Curator of Entomology, Royal Ontario Museum.

The original exhibition, Tattooists, Tattooed, curated by Anne & Julien, founders of the magazine HEY! Modern Art & Pop Culture, was on display in Paris from 2014 – 2015 and drew record crowds to the musée du quai Branly.










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