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Paiwanese Woman

Commissioned to draw an Asian woman with traditional tattoos I spent months researching various indigenous Asian cultures before deciding to depict the Paiwan.

For Paiwanese women, the facial tattoos depicted here symbolized a girl's coming of age. In making the woman an elder I wanted to tell the story of someone who was passing on cultural rites and carrying their stories and skills to pass on to younger generations.

The background, tells the Paiwanese creation story, while there are several versions the most common thread is that the Paiwanese people came from the eggs of a snake and were blessed by the sun.

While I don't know if this piece ever reached my client, it's easily one of my favorite from this past year.