This inspired me to explore our subverted class pride through involving myself in various different sub cultures/groups of society, discussing this dynamic with the people I spoke to. As a generalisation, many people identified the most pride with the working class. Tattoo culture became especially prevalent as I delve deeper. I found this a particularly interesting for it’s clear parallels showing off your culture or belief literally as a badge on your sleeve. The difference being that they often hold personal value and stories. This investigation narrowed in very naturally to the dock yards for which I heard “My dad worked the docks, I do, and I expect it will go on like that”. This sentiment and sub-culture was held with such pride that its legacy is continued generationally.
History and Culture can be put into question through the eye of a different perspective. Studying the archaic jade disks that were popular in japan among collectors and the extremely wealthy, 2000 – 1500 BC, because of their scarcity and mentioning in ancient texts such as the Rites of Zhao. I came to understand this as an object of class rather than intrinsic value, based on it’s ornamental properties and being displayed on a stand made specifically to boast it’s ownership.
Coming from a culture of liberty and equal rights, in the UK try to hide from our class divide. Middle class guilt means that privilege often considered embarrassing but also acclaimed, so subtle signifiers are used to identify social barriers and privilege is invisible to those who have it.
For this reason, I designed a tattoo of this pride decorated with Japanese symbols of honour, longevity, industry and good luck. Presented on acetate to appear like it floated within the traditional Japanese building that acts as its own ornamental stand/frame.