Tattoos in the Arts – Honolulu Museum of Art


The Honolulu Museum of Art, formerly the Academy of Art, has a limited Tattoo exhibit going down this Summer on Oahu. The exhibit has paintings, tattoo flash, machines, and more about the history of tattooing, well known Hawaii tattooists like Mike Ledger, and more to take in for the tattoo collector, enthusiast, and anyone interested in and who appreciates artwork original in general.

These are just a few pics and accompanying words but we highly encourage you to make your way down and check it out! The HMoA team did a great job highlighting unique stories of this historic tradition.

These tattoo machines were used to line, shade, and create by some of the biggest amongst the Old School Americana Tattooists including Brooklyn Joe, Mike Malone, and a Hawaii Tattoo Artist you may have heard of, Sailor Jerry.


This note:


Was written by Sailor Jerry himself and tells the tale that many of us have had to experience flack because of how some other people feel about tattoos because of limiting beliefs. I think we can agree and give a shout to the OG Tattooist: Well said Sailor, Sir, well said!

This Hikeshi Hanten, or Japanese ‘Fireman’s Jacket’ is what old school Firefighters would wear into battle against the flames! This is actually the inside of the jacket and as you an see, it is intricately decorated in the fashion one may see on a bodysuit.


And this pic below, has a significance to the roots of Hawaiian style tattoos and is of traditional tools used in different parts of Polynesia:


The exhibit labeled them as a tattoo combs! Makes the idea of the machine more pleasant for some reason…

This last shot isn’t a tattoo but is a shout out to our Honolulu Tattoo Shop owner, Tattoo Adam, who is known for his Custom Asian tattoos including koi and carp tattoos. A long time tattooist, you can find Adam at 434 Tattoo most days of the week doing what this exhibit celebrates: custom tattooing!

We hope to see you soon! Aloha from the 434 Ohana!

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