Sacred Skin Thailand’s Spirit Tattoos

“…stunning photos and exuberant writing…” by Andrew Marshall, TIME Magazine.

The first illustrated Sak Yant book in English featuring detailed portraits of masters and devotees paired with an insightful text.

Sacred tattoos, called sak yant in Thailand, have been around Southeast Asia for centuries and are said to bestow protection from accidents, misfortunes and crime.
Every day, young men and women gather in temples and countless tattoo masters’ studios around the country to get inked: Tens of thousands of teenagers, motorcycle and taxi drivers, construction workers, night club bouncers, street vendors, factory employees, boxers and working girls – an entire strata of Thai society – are having a second, magical skin applied. Indian mythology, Buddhism, Brahmanism, animism and common superstition make for a colorful hotchpotch of religious ideas embedded into skin. For the wearers, the tattoos serve as reminders to follow a moral code endorsing positive behavior.

This book is an introduction to the sak yant, Thailand’s spirit tattoos, and the men and women who bring them to life on their skin.

Text by Tom Vater

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Read the reviews:  TIME by Andrew MarshallTattoo Road Trip by Bob Baxter, Asian Wall Street Journal by Ron Gluckman, GetAddictedTo, Head Banger Tattoos, Art Found Out

Bangkok 101  El Mundo by Javier Caballero   Courrier International Tattoo Life Issue 72 Miki Vialetto calls Sacred Skin an “essential book” that “shows us that (a) tattoo still today is not simply a decoration for the body but a re-interpretation of the soul.” Prediction October 2011 “top-notch eye candy and fascinating insights…” Lao Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden Newsletter Nr. 7 – July 2012 Fortean Times Issue FT278 (August 2011) Bizarre Dichan, June 15, 2012

Read the reviews and authors’ interviews: Bangkok Post by Ezra Erker “Aroon Thaewchatturat’s extraordinary pictures do more than capture the tattoos, they capture their wearers’ personalities, and perhaps even the energy invested in them by the designs.”

CNNGo by Gavin Nazareth

Tattoo Extreme


Watch documentaries:  ARTE France and Germany by Marc EberleDie Zeit By Meike Fries, Camera by Andreas Nebeling