Initially, young people only imitated vajazzling, after seeing models and artists who had used the art in their performance. Vajazzling uses stone to create temporary tattoos particularly for parts of the body on show when wearing short and scanty clothing.
Using stones to make special tattoos has become a fashion for young people in Vietnam.
Vajazzling takes only a few minutes and young people can easily remove the piece to provide an opportunity for a continuous stream of images. However, these tattoos can be kept for a short time as pieces of stone can easily break.
Thu Minh in Binh Thanh District, HCM City, an experienced tattoo aficionado, said, “I’m attempted by these special tattoos. At first, I only made a temporary tattoo, but I thought it was pity that they only last for a short time. So I and some friends decided to stick stones to our bodies to have more long-term tattoos.”
Kieu Anh in District 3, HCM City, proudly displays her stone tattoo shaping scorpion and hearts on her lower abdomen. She said that many friends of have much more special and sophisticated tattoos.
Costly but risky
Many artisans who often use Chinese ink to create tattoos have also followed the trend.
Nguyen T.H. who is a veteran tattooist for many years said he had created temporary stone tattoos for some people, and now he was studying and learning how to make more long-term stone tattoos to meet customer demand.
Making stone tattoos is a very sophisticated process. Firstly, the skin must be cleaned and then artisans use special glue. After that, they carefully create shapes with knives and use pins to stick pieces of stone on.
Eagles, butterflies and classical patterns have proved the most popular tattoos. Tattoo prices vary depending on different kinds of stone and shapes, ranging from some millions of VND to tens of millions of VND.
Stone tattoos may express an individual’s identity but they pose potential dangers.
Kieu Anh is a typical case. After a short time having the tattoo, she had to see a dermatologist for medical-check up when the skin around the tattoo began to show rashes, became swollen and full of puss.
Nguyen Van Thong, a lecturer from HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities suggested that people wanting tattoos done should always go to well recognised specialists.
Doctor Duong Dinh Hung, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Cosmetic Surgery Association, said stone tattoos could cause infection, allergies and have other negative impacts on body. Removing the stones from the body can also be painful and leave scars; particularly in areas with thin skin face high risks of infection.