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December 4, 2009

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Home » Feature » Art and Culture

New tangled tattoos with no taboos

SOME artist are instantly recognizable by their use of certain symbols or images, and Jean-Luc Moerman is no exception. His sign is the tattoo.

Moreman's solo exhibition of tattooed installations, posters, paintings, photos and wall paper is underway at 18 Gallery at Bund 18 through December 21.

The indefinable shapes, formed by black lines around brightly colored areas are inspired by graffiti, comic strips, Japanese mangas, science fiction, utopian and futurist designs.

Sometimes they seem to refer to bio-technological evolution, communication technologies and virtual architecture.

There's a tattoo on the throat of actress Gong Li, Hollywood's new Asian face, and tattoos on Bruce Lee, the kung fu legend.

Moerman even tattoos Chinese advertising posters of the 1930s and one piece of traditional Chinese ink-wash painting.

Moerman also explores the relationship between space and his tattoos. A daunting shape, a three-dimensional tattoo of fiberglass, is suspended by almost invisible wires from the ceiling - echoing the similar shape hanging at the lobby entrance of Bund 18.

Even if his paintings fit into the formats of classical painting without any difficulty, they easily exceed the limits of the frame or the place that serves as the surface.

What counts is the ensemble of shapes that surround the space, which becomes the theater.

There seems to be a voice speaking from the chaos of mingled lines.

Moerman is cooperating with Longchamps to design luxury handbags - two of them are in the show. The surface of the bags is "tattooed" in paint in elegant colors.

The bags are said to be coveted in Europe for representing both art and fashion.

Date: through December 21

Venue: 4/F, 18 Gallery, 18 Zhongshan Rd E1

Tel: 6323-7066 ext 3102


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