Chris Gerald Lapitan
Reconnecting with Filipino Culture
The project investigates the ancient tattoo culture of the Philippines: Batok (hand tapped technique). It aims to portray the lives of the Filipino Headhunters and how they implement tattoos in their tribal community. As a Filipino who grew up here in Ireland and has been partly influenced by Irish culture, I took this opportunity to reconnect with my culture and learn its historical roots. Through my research I discovered that this particular tattoo technique was near extinction. I also discovered that many Filipinos are trying to revive it, including Whang Od, one of the last tattoo artists of her generation from the Kalinga Tribe.
My final project comprises a series of custom typefaces that imitate the tattoos; a publication that talks about ancient to modern tattoos; and moving posters that showcase quotes from Whang Od and her family. I have used a typographic response to aid and preserve the tattoo culture. My aim is to relay historical information to the new generation through typography.