Apo Whang-od, the last living ‘mambabatok’, or traditional Kalinga tattooist, is one of those featured in a current art exhibit in Ontario, Canada.
The exhibit titled “Tattoo: Ritual, identity, obsession, art,” which was held previously at the Musée du Quai Branly in France, is now held at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada. Five millennia of tattoo art history from different countries and cultures were flaunted and displayed, such as the irezumi tattoos in Japan and Mexican-American chicano-based tattoos.
Whang-od, also known as Fang-od Oggay, was one among those featured in the exhibit. Other global tattoo artists featured Tin-Tin (France), Horiyoshi III (Japan), Filip Leu (Switzerland), Paul Booth (USA), Chimé (Polynesia), and Yann Black (Canada).
Nine documentaries depicting tattoo culture will also be screened in the exhibit.
Whang-od utilizes a mixture of soot and water as her tattoo ink while she uses a Pomelo tree thorn and bamboo to draw on the person’s skin. Many art enthusiasts advocate for the ninety-seven-year-old to be crowned the Pambansang Alagad ng Sining award for preserving the unique indigenous Filipino tradition of tattooing. She was born in the Buscalan town of Kalinga.
The tattoo exhibit will be from April 2 to September 5. Gianna Francesca Catolico, INQUIRER.net