The tattoo gun fires up, emitting a spine-tingling buzz. For Sumithra Debi (Su), the sound has been a kind of music since she was 15. Human skin is her canvas, on which she lays ink and creates permanent art.
Exotic Tattoos & Piercing, Su’s business, is decidedly cosy, and that is by deliberate design. It boasts an open concept where clients can freely walk in and not feel intimidated. “There are private rooms where customers can get tattoos and piercings. We also place a huge emphasis on service and attitude.”
Tattooing is an elaborate process, one of utmost intricacy and honed finesse. It begins with design conceptualisation, and segues to body preparation. The stencil design is then transferred to the specified body area. Depending on the design, the duration of each inking session ranges from 10 minutes to 12 hours. Scabbing and skin peeling are common during the recovery process, which takes about three to four weeks.