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Where Beauty is Skin Deep

"Magic Ink" a Magazine Celebrating Tattoo Art Launch in Bali

(12/23/2009) For cultural and religious reasons, tattoos generally remain a very exotic form of natural adornment within Moslem dominated Indonesia. However, on the Hindu enclave of Bali the permanent pigmentation of skin by both men and women is a thriving industry indulged in by locals and foreigners alike.

To celebrate the art of Tattooing in Bali and reflecting the thousands of local artists working in this field, a new magazine has just been launched in Kuta.

Quoted in Beritabali.com the publisher claims the new magazine's mission is to celebrate the love of tattoo among the Balinese and help correct some misconceptions surrounding the art.

The first edition of "Magic Ink" was launched in December 2008 with plans to publish a monthly edition in 2010 and beyond. The inaugural edition is being distributed free-of-charge and has a picture on its first cover of two shirtless young men from the village of Teganan, Karangasem engaged in a bloody "Perang Pandan" battle. This form of traditional warfare involves two men flailing away at each other's bare torso with barbed pandan leaves. The battle ends when one of the men retreats in pained surrender. One of the fighters featured on the cover of the magazine has a full body tattoo depicting the Balinese Barong and Ragdna.

Inside the 27-page magazine are articles on tattooing and a directory of tattoo artists working in Bali.

Peping, the Editor of "”Magic Ink", said: "By publishing this magazine we wish to eliminate the bad image tattooing has among the public. We want tattooing to be viewed as an art form and not as some form of criminal expression."