Hou Boqiao or Xiao Hou as we affectionately call him, is one of Apple's ardent fan and a close friend of ours. He first came to Apple after learning about her excellent skills over the internet, and one tattoo led to another, eventually we all became extremely close friends. May this friendship continue for many years to come!
Below is a description and images of his tattoos that were all done by Apple.
My first tattoo is located on my upper back, which I got while in year two of university. The design is of a cobra and a rattlesnake intertwined together. The cobra represents Oriental Culture while the rattlesnake represents Western Culture. Essentially, it means the merger of these two unique cultures into one universal community. Another more straightforward design element is that I am born in the Year of the Snake!
My first encounter with the needles was awfully painful, and I told myself this was and will be my only tattoo for life! Half a year later, the tattoo bug came visiting again. My second tattoo was of the grim reaper. This unique design has him bald headed without the typical hood that usually covers his head in most representations. One of his arm is also made out of a tree branch, which resembled closely to my outlook on life that although death is the end, but it also represents the beginning of a new chapter. I extremely loved this design, which resulted in me feeling the awful feeling of the needles once more.
And so my woeful tattoo journey begun! Ever since my second tattoo, I believed that I was permanently hooked on. After a month of letting my second tat heal, I went back for my third! This one is on my lower leg of the Chinese character of “Chan Buddhism.” Inside the character is a portion of the famous Chinese painting “Guiguzi.” Below the word is a calligraphic script of the word “ghost” in Chinese. Portion of the word is embodied in the lotus flower. Within the flower there is a small ghost emerging from within. This represents the Buddhist teaching that even a ghost who carries kindness will be able to attain Buddhahood/nirvana. Whereas, the lotus is symbolic of Buddhism.
My fourth tattoo is a complimentary piece to the grim reaper on my left arm. Similar to the snakes tattoo on my back, I believe in complimentary work between cultures, and so I placed the grim reaper representing evil or ugliness of humanity on my left (because I believed that western cultures considers evil to be more leftist), while compassion and peace is represented by the beauty of China’s famous Chinese Opera singers. This being said, I still believe that there can never be a clear difference between good and evil as it’s the differing viewpoints that only separates one from the other.
My last tattoo (at the moment), was made when I completed my studies in Singapore and just before I left for home in China. This tattoo was sort of a keepsake for the few years I spent in Singapore. This is a purely Chinese characters tattoo. It comprises of a large “Dao” which means “the supreme way of the universe,” with a “six” written in red ink within the word, making it “the 6 ways of the universe.” At first, I planned to have it made into a full back piece, however, Apple suggested against it as it did not match the snake tattoo I had on my back. Therefore I had it done on my leg, which complements the “Chan Buddhism” (third tattoo) tattoo I have as well. Just like how the Chinese believe in karma and the affinity of things. Just about everything was planned, my life in Singapore, my friends, my encounters, and now my tattoos!
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