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Hundreds of tattoo lovers have gathered in Taiwan for the first international tattoo convention ever hosted on the island. The hope is that the show will cast a positive light on the body-art that is often linked to the underworld.
Contestants showed off their arms, legs, and backs in front of a panel of judges as they competed for the honor of best tattoo design.
Tattoo, as a form of art, has started to gain public acceptance in the past decade in Taiwan.
As it still carries a heavy connotation of the underworld, professional tattoo artists have not yet been formally recognized as a business by departments concerned.
But in Taiwan, more people has started to appreciate the value of tatoo. The average age of tattoo enthusiasts has gotten older in the past few years, which means tatoo is more than a teeage thrill.
Chen Shih-yung, 40-year-old tattoo artist, said, "Sometimes I think tattoos are more important than marriage or finding your partner, because your partner may not stick with you for the rest of your life but a tattoo will definitely stay with you. I think everyone should look at all the different tattoo designs, and understand that they can be made very beautifully now."
The three-day convention also includes tattoo competitions in twenty different categories, such as totems, traditional designs, and western designs.
The organizer also plans to help train severe burn victims to make a living through the art of tattoos.
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