Tattoos are part of Vietnamese history, but in recent times they have become taboo. They are generally classed here as a 'social evil' (a vaguely nonsensical umbrella term used to describe things ranging from crimes to things that are 'not normal'), and are traditionally seen as the domain of bad people - gangsters, convicts and pimps. But in the past couple of years I've noticed more and more tattoos peeking out from the clothes under which they've been hiding. Gradually, they are losing their tainted image and, especially amongst younger generations, becoming seen as forms of creative expression and identity.

The Hanoi Tattoo Club, run by Tran Chi Hieu, is central to this new atmosphere of acceptance, and is where the following photos were taken:


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