Getting tattooed is an increasingly popular way for individuals to cope with their insecurities and self-perceived imperfections. This trend toward therapeutic tattoos has been picked up on by Hongdam, a well-known South Korean tattooer who boasts an impressive 350,000 followers on Instagram. Over the course of his five-year career as an artist, Hongdam has been regularly tattooing over scars, so he understands the power the art form has to change the way we relate to our bodies. Now, he’s running the Rebirth Campaign, a project that provides people with free, custom cover-up tattoos.
Since kicking off this past March, the Rebirth Campaign has tattooed clients in Singapore, Paris, Milan, and most recently, New York, where Hongdam—who’s best known for his detailed black-and grey-designs—will be tattooing until October 29. (His next stops haven’t been announced yet, but here’s to hoping he has a slew of cities on the horizon.)
And when he’s in town —whatever that town may be—the tattooer shares a photo on Instagram to find clients in each location with something similar to the following. “If you wish to rebirth your burn mark, mold or scar, please share your story [in] the comment[s]. We will give complimentary tattoos [to] those with the selected stories.”
The comment section of each of his posts is filled with moving personal anecdotes about people’s physical imperfections and how these marks affect them. It’s also filled with warm sentiments as they thank the artist for making his service so accessible. For example, when Hongdam announced his trip to New York, comments poured in from locals who shared their experiences with self-harm, childhood trauma, cancer treatment, and botched surgeries.
If this reaction to Rebirth Campaign tells us anything, it’s that there’s no shortage of people who believe tattoos can be a method of healing. Whether you’re covering the scars left from self-harm, reclaiming your body after cancer treatment, or simply trying to practice active self-love, tattoos have the power to change the way we feel in our skin and help us embrace our perceived imperfections.
Check out the video below to see the Rebirth Project in action.
If you liked our post The Rebirth Campaign Offers Custom Cover-Up Tattoos Free of Charge, then be sure to check out our post 11 People Who Used Tattoos to Cover Up Self-Harm.