Getting inked Thai style

Finally getting around to posting up images from day 1 activities.  It’s been a long ride ride the past couple days.  I’ve been getting used to the weather, the congestion, sleeping weird hours and getting tired in the middle of the afternoon.  This is one of the many reason I planted myself in Bangkok for the first week.

Before I continue with this post there’s a few vocab words I should clarify so that the story makes sense to everyone.  I’ll keep it simple and in English

Sak Yant….it’s a tattoo performed in a traditional manner.  By hand with a long metal rod.  It’s blessed at the end and infused with magic powers.  Very popular in South East Asia.

Arjan…a person who is a senior level teacher and often a master in their craft

Rusei…A Sak Yant master.  Someone who has studied the art of Sak Yant for many years and has perfected the craft.  Most likely served as a monk at some point in their life while learning the craft.

Less than 24 hours after landing in Bangkok I met with my friend Paul and Gluay who took me for my first yant in 2014.  After a brief catch up on whats been going on in our lives we were in the car and off to see Arjan Fu who lives about an hour outside of Bangkok.  On the way we picked up Robb, a young guy from Texas, who was interested in receiving a yant as well.  Upon arriving at Arjan Fu’s home we were greeted at the door and offered cool bottles of water after our long ride.

We discussed the yants we’d be receiving.  I explained to Arjan Fu (as best I could in my broken Thai) that I was at the beginning of a new chapter in my life and that I was here in Thailand working on a special project that would help me to launch my art career.  I already had an idea of the yant I wanted which just so happened to compliment my existing one.  We agreed and began the work.

During the preliminary discussion I asked Arjan Fu if I could photograph some moments during the course of our day for my project. He kindly gave me his blessing a I proceeded to capture a few images (film and digital) of him before we began.  The image at the top of this post is one of them.

The images at the bottom of this post were captured by Paul and Robb who were wonderful to assist me with capturing moments for my project which I was physically unable to do.

In the images below, you’ll see my new yant with the gold leaf around it before the blessing ceremony.  Gold leaf is used to channel the energy and magic into the yant itself.  The image with the cords wrapped around Robb and I is the actual blessing ceremony.  It lasts about 15 minutes.

After receiving my yant I had prepared to give Arjan Fu a gift which I had made a few years ago.  The image  was created on my first trip to Thailand in 2012 while visiting Chiang Mai.  Ironically enough that’s where I’m headed after my week here in Bangkok.  It has now come full circle and now resides in the workspace of a master.  This is a true honor for me and one of the highlights of my day.

All in all, another great experience.  I really enjoyed seeing Paul, Gluay, and Arjan Fu again and meeting Robb.  I feel as though people come into your life at certain times for very specific reasons.  I was glad to be able to share this experience with him.