Famous Thai master of tattoo art visits Wigan to practise ancient tradition
An acclaimed Thai tattoo artist has visited Wigan to create traditional designs and give sacred blessings.
Master Ajarn Ohr travelled all the way from Bangkok, Thailand to Skin Graffiti tattoo parlour, in the town centre, to perform the ancient practice of Sak Yants in a traditional stick and poke style where he has proved to be a hit among many skin art-loving Wiganers.
Sak Yants are a tattoo style native to south east Asia and were originally performed using bamboo. They contain yantras which are said to be blessed with magical spells and enchantments.
Today, a metal rod called a, khem sak, is used instead for sterility purposes. Sak Yants can be administered by Buddhist monks or laymen but those trained in the ancient art are referred to as Ajarn, meaning master. An Ajarn must be trained by a master Ajarn to carry on with this ancestral practice.
Skin Graffiti tattoo parlour and artist, Dan Sharples said: “After tattooing for 20 years and developing a keen interest in the history and meaning of the symbols and images people have permanently put on their skin.”
Master Ajarn Ohr is world famous for his Sak Yants and is considered the leading Sak Yant master in Thailand and Asia. He is currently touring the UK visiting Wigan, London and Manchester, which he had to postpone in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Mr Sharples said: "I'm honoured to have a revered master like Ajarn Ohr carry out Sak Yants at the studio in Wigan, the only other stops on the tour being London and Manchester.”
"It's a chance to have a Sak Yant tattoo in a sterile environment without leaving the country, although I would recommend people travel to Thailand as it’s a deep dive into a rich, colourful and very old culture.
"They have proved to be popular with people in the area, all the days being fully booked and Ajarn Ohr working overtime to get everyone done.
“We hope he enjoyed staying in the north of England, experiencing a colder climate, eating local food like fish and chips, and will return again in the future.”
Master Ajarn Ohr has around 10,000 disciples who come to his annual Wai Kruh ceremony at his Sam Nak tattoo parlour, Bangkok, to pay respect and receive new blessings from him.