WAK : The Present Tattoo Industry In Sarawak

What is your perspective towards the tattoo industry in Sarawak today? How has it progress? As for me, I have very little knowledge about tattoos, I have limited contact about tattoos industry but I love history and I absolutely adored things with stories behind and that is one of the reason I’m here today.

So basically this talk is organized by Blackout Tattoo Kuching, to share their insights and their knowledge about tattoos from the beginning; concentrating on Iban and Dayak tattoos which specially need to be preserved. 

with the tattoo specialists

So hows does tattoo industry progress throughout the 10 years? 

Having a tattoo today as compared to the past 10 years is more common, they are more well perceived. Unlike the olden days, people used to link up tattoo with gangster-ism, parents will yell at you or even hit you hard if they see you having a tattoo or intended to get one. However, 10 years later, tattoo is more acceptable, they are more to perceived as a piece of art rather than something totally negative. I am not saying that tattoo is widely accepted now but as compared to the past 10 years, it is much better.

Awareness and hygiene for the tattoo industry is getting better as well. Tattooist tend to be more knowledgeable and able to give more solid advise to the customers before they commit. Hygiene is something that everyone is very strict of. If you head to a tattoo studio with very poor hygiene, you might need to change one. Why is hygiene so important in the tattoo industry? The needles, the clothes and ink used are all tapped into your skin. If hygiene is bad, chances of getting health issue is higher because you never know who is the previous customer and how they dispose the tools used for the previous customer. Be alert!

What is the concern towards the tattoo industry in Sarawak today?

  1. Tattoo industry in Sarawak is way too behind. They came across the tattoo culture in overseas, in terms of machinery tools and mindset; we are way behind. A piece of tattoo art can be sealed at a price of 10 times higher than what the tattoo artist in Sarawak offered. The value of tattoo art is higher outside Sarawak.
  2. Borneo Tattoo preservation. We are afraid that no one inherit our real traditional/tribal/warrior/borneo tattoo. Some tattooist shared that nowadays people just tattoo whatever that they think its nice or maybe a fusion. They just mix and match the art instead of getting a proper traditional tattoo. Trend like this will lose the originality of the tattoos.
  3. Things are not meant to be tattooed anyhow. Some art are meant to serve a purpose or meaning and it is not meant for everyone. For example the head hunters tattoo “tagulun” (someone please help me with the correct name and spelling) is a tattoo symbolized the act and power of the head hunters. These tattoos are believed to have powers in the form or charms or even a taboo. If ones is not supposed to have such tattoos but they insisted, bad things will even happen to them or the people around them. The tattoo have the real design and the meaning behind it so do your homework or ask for advise before deciding one. 

How to improve tattoo industry in Sarawak?

  1. Educate the customers. Art is a constant change. Tattooist do not change or restricts the customers’ idea but they can educate and give proper advise. Consult them, know their motive of getting the tattoo and advice accordingly
  2. Be an apprentice. Taking an apprentice path to guide new tattooist the meaning of tattoo arts especially to all the Borneo tattoos that need to be preserved. Borneo tattoo arts will not stay unless the skill and knowledge have been pass on. So, they need to starting teaching people so that tattoo culture flows.

What is their advice to the customers before getting a tattoo?

Know your tattooist. Know them as in know their background, know their portfolio and the art they have delivered. Get a consultation and be very strict to the hygiene steps they took. Do not get a freelance tattooist, go to a professional one for all the right reasons.

What is your vision of our tattoo industry in the next 5 years? Some mentioned they will like to have a tattoo museum to showcase the history of tattoo and to educate more people about tattoo arts. To make tattoo artist a more recognized career.

For me, a person who appreciates history and culture; I certainly think a tattoo museum will be a very educational one. All the tribal arts, all the warrior tattoos and the meanings behind, who to ask if you want to know right? We commonly only know the “Bunga Terung” tattoo arts that symbolized adult hood and maturity, the crab and tree tattoos that symbolized life, but what about others? There are tonnes of different tattoo arts with different meanings that yet to be taught.

Whats the tattoo art that you are most curious of? 

WAK : Visual Journalism by World Press Photo

Its not an everyday opportunity where you get to attend an event like that. Collaborate with WAK (What About Kuching), World Press Photo held an very liberal talk to showcase about visual journalism in the World today. For me, its a very fruitful day for me. Let me share with you more but first, What is Visual Journalism?


We often hear; let the photo do the talking. Photo speaks. A single photo can show so much emotions and information sometimes as compared to words describing. What is your point of view towards visual journalism? Freedom of speech? These two basically linked. 

World Press Photo is a non profit organization formed in 1955 in Amsterdam. They organized photo contest world wide to promote visual journalism and the importance of it, and how visual journalism helps to deliver information to the world today. 

There’s a few photos that really caught my attention and i would like to share as an example here to portray my own personal opinions.

This is a very popular photos “Tank Man”. Here’s a brief introduction about this photo. 

– World Press Photo

Tank Man (also known as the Unknown Protester or Unknown Rebel) is the nickname of an unidentified man who stood in front of a column of tanks on June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by force. As the lead tank maneuvered to pass by the man, he repeatedly shifted his position in order to obstruct the tank’s attempted path around him. The incident was filmed and smuggled out to a worldwide audience. Internationally, it is considered one of the most iconic images of all time. Inside China, the image and the events leading up to it are virtually unknown today.  — Wikipedia

Now, every photos is debatable. The motive behind, opinions from different angles, outcome of prevailing the photos to the society and so on. You will be shocked that although this photo is taken in China, there is very minimal citizens in China that knew or even aware of this. Now, question is.. why are they not aware? Is the government restricting the freedom of speech in China? Does government actually screen through the news and information to be fed to their own citizens? Does the citizens have their own right to know what is going on throughout? During the discussion, there is one particular man who actually voice out his opinion towards freedom of speech in china, particular to this photo as an example. He says, he thinks it is better to kept secret and control the freedom of speech to the citizens, if not, the country will go into chaos because the country is not mature yet. Freedom of speech, he got his opinion but for me, mine is a totally different one. Why is that particular country is immature? Because they are not exposed enough. Why are they not exposed enough? Because every information fed to them is filter as per the government preference. They have so limited knowledge about the world. Why is the information so limited? Because they don’t practice freedom of speech; or more like they do not agree of. Things do do happen overnight. So freedom of speech helps to grow the mentality of the country. But definitely, do it slowly. 

This photo also brings out the risk and courage of the journalist. How they protect the photo and to make sure it is broadcast. When this photo is taken, it was actually banned from published. The man had to steal the film and pass to his friend in order to avoid being confiscated during the check in the immigration due to his identity as a journalism. if he is not careful enough, the photo will be buried.

Another popular photo back in 1985. Criticism from every aspect. Some debate about the ethic of saving the women instead of taking the last photo of hers. However, in the point of view from the photographer, it may be the best choice if there is no choice but to just accompany her at her last few hours.

– World Press Photo

Omayra Sanchez (12) is trapped in the debris from the Nevado del Ruíz volcano eruption. While rescue workers, who could not reach her, were waiting for materials to arrive, she eventually lost consciousness and died of a heart attack. – World Press Photo

There is no right or wrong. Visual journalism leads to opinions and criticism from different voices and perspective. Being in the media/press industry is no easy. They take risk taking photos for the awareness of the people. Some even lose their life trying to protect the news and photos. A lot of them faces threatens and injustice acts; all for one purpose, to protect voices being call out, to hang on to the philosophy that different voices is allowed to be heard. So the least we can do is to respect them to bring us to the right ground of what is happening now. 

Its a very spiritual talk to be honest. It leads me to think of all the hidden efforts and hardships behind every words or pictures shown to the world today. Salute to all the medias!

And Thank you Sarawak bloggers for making this happen for me!

Innisfree opens first store in East Malaysia – Vivacity Megamall

Innisfree finally opens its first store in East Malaysia on the 7th September 2018 and proudly to say that it opens at Vivacity Megamall Kuching! 

Thank you for the kind invite, we are able to have the first hand experiences of Innisfree in East Malaysia. So Innisfree originally came from Korea, focusing natural ingredients for the skincare and cosmetics. Lets take a short tour of Innisfree store in Kuching!

Look at the human beings!!! 

From the highly demand mask to skincare to cosmetic, whatever a woman needs, they have it. 

All sorts of beauty masks

If you have no idea what kind of product suits you, you can always seek advice from all the helpful beauty consultant there. I have all my cosmetic and skincare purchased advised by this very patient and knowledgeable beauty consultant. Definitely a big thumbs up for him!

In celebration of Innisfree store opening in Kuching, they provide a series of promotion for all the shoppers in the month of September. Don’t missed the chance and be sure to grab one for yourself!

And this is my haul for that day! 

So gonna try on this sample mask as well. Innisfree always have good review for their mask <3


Oh! not to miss out my lovely companion <3<3. We hereby wish Innisfree Malaysia to have a prosperous business in Kuching !

Best Char Siew in Kuching?

Surely there’s a lot of debates regarding the best char siew in Kuching. Some people like the one at Oriental Park kolo mee, some people love the ones at Little Hainan which i do as well but this one crowned the best for many people in Kuching. 

The name is not as popular, it is better known as the char siew opposite vivacity mall. Yes, to be particular, its located at Soho 188, the area opposite Vivacity Megamall. 

House of Charcoal, Kuching

House of Charcoal it is — popular with these two particular items; the char siew bowl and salted egg fried kueh tiaw. They do have other variety of food but significantly most of the people come here for those two. 

House of Charcoal Menu

Lets see if it you love it!

Char Siew Bowl 

Char siew bowl

A simple bowl of char grilled meat drizzle with sauce, topped with a sunny side up and some green. A delicious bowl like this use only the simplest ingredients. 

Char siew is fat, thick and juicy. It doesn’t have a crunch edge like the one at Little Hainan but its more to be like a melt in the mouth like char siew. Equally good as well. 

Another queen of the dish will be the salted egg fried kueh tiaw. It is delicious with very strong “wok hei” (cook in a very strong and flaming fire) but not until the extend to be crowned the queen of the dish. 

A running yolk certainly help a lot. Nothing can go wrong with yolks running over starch! Umami! 

These are the two most popular dish here. Do come and try if you haven. 

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