Occult and Religious Tattoos Symbols Amongst the Underground Musicians and Fans in East Java, Indonesia.


My research is based primarily on participant observation fieldwork in Surabaya and Sidoarjo, Indonesia. I interviewed 45 musicians and fans of punk rock, hardcore, metal (metal core, death metal, black metal), and ska-punk (rude boy), in which 39 people wore tattoos and 6 others did not. In this research, I use a system of 'ongoing' analysis of sign. The first is “visual themes approach.” This approach is to capture meaning of tattoos through understanding the genre of images, such as by their visual appearances or messages that are carried by the images literally. Secondly, “reflective contextual approach.” This approach to understand the context of image production in its natural meaning since tattoos are the reflection of the wearers' life story. At this stage, I re-write informants' opinions from my perspective as a researcher. The facts and the arguments that I gain from the “reflective contextual approach" can be used in the last but not least “semiotic approach.” My finding is occult and religious symbol tattoos represented spiritual life journey, a faith symbol to God, as personal symbols (identity), art expression, as fashion and pluralism spirit, such as some of underground musicians wore different religious symbols on their bodies.

Author Information
Constantius Tri Handoko, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Paper Information
Conference: ECCS2016
Stream: Visual Culture

This paper is part of the ECCS2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon