Thank you Shane for encouraging me to write this piece and ultimately finding a home for it. Thank you Patrick for making such a beautiful and inspired Zine, I couldn’t be more stoked on working with you or the final product!!! Pick up your copy of the split Tribal/Best Intentions now... #BESTINTENTIONS @shaneenholm @pkdna73 also thank you to Lyle Tuttle for letting me use the original Battle Royal Burchett painting and for your indispensable quotes.
In 2016 my friend Mikiko (@stopsaki) and I attended the Japonisme exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The exhibit identified the moment at which Japan was forcibly opened to trade with the West by the American, Commodore Perry and his fleet of steam ships. It presented examples in which Western art and aesthetics were inspired by Japanese sensibility - ranging from the clumsy and bold interpretations to the very subtle themes. The show even made note of the reverse, the trickle of Western influence on Japanese art, fashion, culture, etc.
As an American who has dedicated over 20 years to studying Japanese tattooing, art and culture....paired with Mikiko- a woman who left Japan at an early age to pursue her dream of becoming an American filmmaker- we were consumed with hours of critical conversation dissecting and celebrating this historical cultural exchange. These conversations led me to presuppose the idea that this Japonisme is essentially the moment Western Tattooers and customers embraced Japanese tattooing. This seemed like such an exciting realization to me and I decided to use George Burchett and his Battle Royal design as the perfect example of this theory. This is the basis for my piece :
“The Influence of Japonisme on Western Tattooing as Seen in George Burchett’s Battle Royal.”
Really it’s an investigation into how Japanese tattooing found its way into the Western consciousness... and I guarantee if you’ve made it (reading) this far, you will enjoy the article.
If anyone reading it has any thoughts or feedback on this subject please feel free to contact me! Thanks for reading! @asianartmuseum #vangogh #asianartmuseum