While working in Bangkok on assignment, British/French photographer Cedric Arnold met a shipyard worker who was covered head-to-toe in tattoos. The tradition, chronicled in a project that consumed four and half years of his life, attempts to cover the tradition in its entirety by documenting ceremonies that are only held in certain parts of the country. The tradition incorporates elements of Buddhism, Animism, Brahmanism, and Hinduism and is believed to date back to the 9th century.
“A body, used as a canvas, every inch of skin filled with sacred text and figures of mythical creatures, all forming a protective shield. A boxer, a monk, a construction worker, a policeman, a soldier, a taxi driver, a shipyard worker, a shaman, a tattoo master; men, women, and their inked protection from evil spirits and bad luck. Enter the world of Thailand’s spiritual “Yantra” tattoo tradition.”