Sat, May 12, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Tattoos prove novel way to memorialize loved ones

‘ETERNAL PAIN’:Three young Taiwanese have chosen to remember their departed mothers or grandmothers by having them inked on their skin

By Hung Ting-hung  /  Staff reporter

Twenty-seven-year-old Tang Wei-cheng displays a tattoo of his late mother in Greater Kaohsiung on Thursday.

Photo: Hung Ting-hung, Taipei Times

Holidays often serve to remind us of family, and this is certainly true for Tang Wei-cheng (唐瑋成), Wang Wei-shan (王偉山), and Tsai Chia-li (蔡佳利).

To remember the pain of losing their dearly departed, all three have chosen to memorialize their mother or grandmother — with a tattoo.

Tang, 27, was an only child and shared most of his life with his mother because his father died when he was in the sixth grade.

Tang was so close to his mother that he quit his job to look after her 24 hours a day after she was hospitalized with cirrhosis of the liver.

One day, after watching a program on TV about tattoos, Tang told his mother that he wanted to “ink your image on my arms so I can see you at any time.”

His mother said with a smile that it was up to him.

After she passed away, Tang started saving money and finally got a tattoo of his mother’s face inked on his right arm last month.

Wang, 28, said his grandparents raised him because his parents were working out of town when he was born. After his parents divorced and his mother remarried in France, his grandmother took over and raised him until he was in his third year of junior high school.

An arts major, Wang discovered the beauty of tattoos two years ago and decided to ink his grandmother’s image on his arm.

Tsai, 22, was also close to her mother because she was the youngest child, and despite moving to Greater Kaohsiung from the countryside for her studies and work, she still talked to her mother about everything.

Two years ago, her mother was hospitalized for cancer. Tsai’s mother should have had a good chance of surviving, but unfortunately passed away due to a misdiagnosis.

In order to remember this “eternal pain,” Tsai sought out the services of Chen Yun-tai (陳運泰), the champion of an international tattooing contest, to get an image of her mother tattooed on her right thigh.

While her father and siblings were shocked when they first saw the tattoo, they were supportive of her actions after learning why she had done it.

Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer

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