I don't have a tattoo but I was always interested in check out different tattoo art. Few days ago, from a TV programmer I learned about one of the very popular pattern often request from people to tattoo artists : the Mexican Sugar Skull. I just really loved this cheerful ,sweet version of the death symbol, so I was thinking to try it out on something.
Then I found this little pocket mirror which was a free give away gift from a recent purchase , thought It seems perfect for me to have a make over. After design a sugar skull I sprayed the back of the mirror with a white paint and copy the design on to it, then I drew over the sketch with oil based mark pen and finally erase the pencil line.
The sugar skull mirror also reminded me a famous story from one of the Classic Ming Dynasty Chinese literature Dream of the Red Chamber / 红楼梦. In this story a young man named Jia Rui was abscessed with this beautiful girl called Wang Xifeng. He could not help thinking about her all the time and would try anything to be with her. Wang Xifeng was already married at the time but instead of rejecting her admirer, she choose to flirt with him. She kept giving out false hope and empty promises, for the pleasure of manipulation. Finally after month of this terrible mental torture, Jia Rui felt so ill that he couldn't even get out of the bed. One day a Taoist Monk was passing Jia Rui's house and he offered him a cure for his love sickness by giving Jia Rui a magic mirror. The Monk told him to only look at the back side of the mirror if he still want to live. After the Monk left, Jia Rui picked up the mirror looked at the back and shocked by a terrifying image of a skull. So he quickly turned the mirror around, and surprisingly saw the image of Wang Xifeng appear inside the mirror. She was waving and smiling at him, inviting him to come to her. Still deep in love with her , Jia Rui disregarded the monk's warning and kept on looking at the front of the mirror to fulfill his desire. In the end, Jia Rui finally died of excessive ejaculation.
When I first heard about this story back in childhood time, I treated it as nothing but a bizarre love tragedy. It was not till many years later that I finally understand the chilling truth which the author intended to imply. Just like the fact under the skin of beauty, leis nothing but the white skull, the human desires can be become so deadly if we kept clutching on to them.