Every six years, pilgrims descend on the Ganges for either the Kumbh festival or Ardh Kumbh Mela, each larger than the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca. These two festivals are famous, as are the burial rites along the river's banks. With much of this culture along the river having a spiritual bent, some people along the river's banks focus much more on the spiritual aesthetics of people's present incarnations. These streetside artists at work tattooing the passers by are the focus of Lo-Fi Collective's latest endeavour at the Standard: Hindu Tattoo.
Artists Sarah Murphy and Matt Feder were interested in the tattoos, the tattooed and the tattooers, and have assembled their images for this show — as well as a collection of custom frames — to give you a better look at the art-seekers by the banks of this sacred river. For a look into what people really value, tattoos show what moved them now, and what moved them before. The shifting meanings of old icons slips into view, making a living palimpsest of ideas or spirituality. And permanent though these tatts may seem, these photos won't be returning anytime soon.
Image by Matt Feder.