Published by Yale University Press a few days back, 'The World Atlas of Tattoo' features Nagaland's Mo Naga, Kolkata's Abhinandan "Obi" Basu and Delhi's Manjeet Singh amongst the who's who of tattoo art all over the world.

Mo Naga, who runs a tattoo studio in Dimapur, has been trying to revive the vanishing tattooing tradition of various tribes of Nagaland while Abhinandan Basu's tattoos are rooted in Bengali folk art.

Singh, on the other hand, runs Manjeet Tattooz studio and boasts of clientele from US, UK and Australia.

"I wanted to make the book truly global as so many so-called worldwide books about tattooing leave out many areas, including India, rest of south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa," American tattoo historian Anna Felicity Friedman who has compiled the book told.

She said documenting revivals of indigenous practice was the main goal for the book.

"I also wanted to show the cutting-edge global-contemporary work that's happening in places one might not expect at least from a European or North American perspective," Friedman said, adding she was very happy to find an incredible array of different styles and excellent artists.

Manjeet Singh was selected because his photorealistic work made him the perfect candidate to represent that genre for the region, she said.

On Basu's works, Friedman expressed her admiration on how he has put an unique Indian spin on dotwork and mandala-influenced designs.

The Kolkata artist is known for his special customised body art which is called 'Bongo' - inspired by Bengali folk art form 'Patachitra' (scroll painting) and the works of legends like Jamini Roy.

Nagaland's Mo Naga is trying to revive and reinterpret traditional Naga tattooing by taking inspiration from Naga art and culture as reflected in tribal costumes, folk tales, paintings, wood carvings, etc.


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