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'No Nation of Experts': Kustom Tattooing and the Middle-Class Body in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia

Hegarty, Benjamin

Description

Tattooing among young middle-class people in Indonesia has increased noticeably since the late 2000s. I draw on ethnographic research in tattoo studios alongside interviews and magazine sources to locate the style known as kustom within its social and cultural context. I describe how kustom tattooing is the product of patterns of consumption centred on the body, drawing resources from a globalised, mass media-saturated environment. Indeed, consumers describe it as an important avenue for...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorHegarty, Benjamin
dc.date.accessioned2017-04-05T04:19:10Z
dc.identifier.issn1444-2213
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/114496
dc.description.abstractTattooing among young middle-class people in Indonesia has increased noticeably since the late 2000s. I draw on ethnographic research in tattoo studios alongside interviews and magazine sources to locate the style known as kustom within its social and cultural context. I describe how kustom tattooing is the product of patterns of consumption centred on the body, drawing resources from a globalised, mass media-saturated environment. Indeed, consumers describe it as an important avenue for self-expression. By contrast, tattooists and those inside the scene describe kustom as a way of transcending geographical markers of identity: to be ‘anything and everything’. This article explores this tension between self-expression and the political aims of kustom. Kustom tattooing is also novel by virtue of its absolute emphasis on ‘no expertise’. It thus exposes a space where the stress on expertise and self-improvement, which characterises middle-class cultures in post-authoritarian Indonesia, gives way to creative and hybrid articulations of identity.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.publisherTaylor & Francis
dc.rights© 2017 The Australian National University
dc.sourceThe Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
dc.subjectTattoo
dc.subjectKustom
dc.subjectYouth Culture
dc.subjectMasculinity
dc.subjectIndonesia
dc.subjectGlobalisation
dc.title'No Nation of Experts': Kustom Tattooing and the Middle-Class Body in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume18
dc.date.issued2017-02-19
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.routledge.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationHegarty, B., School of Archaeology and Anthropology, The Australian National University
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue2
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage135
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage148
local.identifier.doi10.1080/14442213.2016.1269833
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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