Everyone is familiar with the art of tattoo. Almost anywhere you travel to in the world you can see skin art with a myriad of complex designs, and cultural or personal symbolism. Every tattoo has a story. Now imagine that those tattoos could move, portraits could change expression, look right at you from at you across the room, while mandalas might revolve, evolve and expand, glowing from within. A snake might even slither off of a man’s body. That sounds like something from a sci-fi world and wouldn’t just be cool, it would be amazing to see in real life.
Avant-garde video projection mapping artists Oskar & Gaspar has created a glimpse into that world of living ink. Video Projection mapping is an art form that involves projecting images onto objects that aren’t flat and in many cases are not white. In the video, Oskar & Gaspar produced the first production of “ink mapping.” According to descriptions accompanying the pair’s video, their work was done with a live audience and they did no “post-production” work, meaning the video we see is just as it was experienced live in Lisbon.
To call the result a mind-blowing step forward in the art of skin ink would be an understatement. In Oskar & Gaspar’s production, models with black and gray tattoos become living canvases for art in motion and light. Tattoos look back at the audience, one even gives a knowing wink. A snake writhes across a man’s body, disappearing over his shoulder, and in another shot ink runs from his geometric tattoos down into a puddle on the floor. An intricate mandala on a woman’s back glows and the rings rotate in opposing directions. An origami bird takes flight across another woman’s arm and chest while another subject’s cherry tree tattoo grows and waves in the wind. A gargoyle comes to life on a woman’s chest as she lowers her head to take it in herself. A simple star tattoo becomes a gateway to a whole galaxy.
Throughout the video, there are glimpses of the artists and their equipment, linking the art and the artists. Audience members witness the production live, not always prepared for what they witness. Of course, all of this is achieved through high-tech projection technology and highly creative visions… but who’s to say this won’t inspire the future to create something inspired by the idea?