Marked for Life documents the vanishing beauty and tradition of facial tattooing among the women of various Chin ethnic groups of Myanmar. Though a centuries old tradition, it has never been the subject of any anthropological research. Until the last century, the practice of facial tattooing among the so-called 'hill tribes' in the Asia Pacific region was still fairly widespread. It only survived in remote regions of Myanmar until fairly recently: the turn of the millennium. Even today, after a gradual opening to the outside world due to political change, the country is still considered one of the least explored on earth because of the inaccessibility of large areas. Jens Uwe Parkitny's work therefore provides a unique glimpse into a little known culture that is quickly vanishing.
"It is no wonder that numerous myths have arisen surrounding the mysterious facial tattoos of Chin women. They compelled the German photographer Jens-Uwe Parkitny to undertake a series of expeditions to the often remote villages of the southern Chin State. He returned with these fascinating portraits which, with the very painful procedure of tattooing now prohibited, record this unique practice of the Chin for posterity. There is likely no other photo collection in existence which is as comprehensive as that of Parkitny. The dark network of lines, drawn at an early age over a girl's entire face, were lifelong signs of membership in a particular tribal group and were frequently reflected in the patterns of the clothing worn. Our exhibition will exhibit both the portrait and the textiles"--http://yangonlife.com.mm/en/event/marked-life-myanmars-chin-women-and-their-facial-tattoos