The Vinegar Tasters Tattoo
The Vinegar Tasters Tattoo. There is little progress with Half Sleeve Tattoo started few months ago at Tattoo Culture. This half sleeve tattoo done in Japanese style and shows ‘The Vinegar Tasters‘- one of the most popular painting related to taoism. Its a traditional subject in Chinese religious painting. The allegorical composition depicts the three founders of China’s major religious and philosophical traditions: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The theme in the painting has been interpreted as favoring Taoism and critical of the others.
The three men are dipping their fingers in a vat of vinegar and tasting it; one man reacts with a sour expression, one reacts with a bitter expression, and one reacts with a sweet expression. The three men are Confucius, Buddha, and Laozi, respectively. Each man’s expression represents the predominant attitude of his philosophy: Confucianism saw life as sour, in need of rules to correct the degeneration of people; Buddhism saw life as bitter, dominated by pain and suffering; and Taoism saw life as fundamentally good in its natural state. Another interpretation of the painting is that, since the three men are gathered around one vat of vinegar, the “three teachings” are one.
George Bardadim, Tattoo Artist based in NYC, resident Artist at Tattoo Culture, Williamsburg, Brooklyn