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Life and Practice

Kishan is an independent artist seeking to bring to light the diverse histories and cultures of the Philippines and cultivate a body of work that speaks the emotions, truths, and perspectives of a trans woman through body art and illustration, performance, and music.


Reflection An immediate transformation was evident as I got up from the grass. The green landscape paved well as a background for the floral scars I put on my own left foot as I lift it up to check for the things I could do better for next time. It has always been like that whenever I tattoo other people, and I was 99.9% sure this was not anything different. The 0.01% remaining is allotted for that sweet moment I had with myself as I did the performance. It was pretty cool. Four flowers crawling up my left foot, rooted to the fact that this is what I use to stand my ground, and from where I stand, I create universal beauty just like them. Curved lines intertwine as they form the petals of some flower I am sure existed somewhere out there. The leaves offer an extension to parts of the toe where the flowers could not reach, perfect for the tattoo’s flow alongside the mountain which is my foot. I felt like a yellow bell as my dress danced with the air and touch the ground simultaneously, reflecting a faint and gentle yellow that provides contrast to a cool-toned Ruby Woo lips. Skin felt moisturized and supple for such a performance, the mixture of blood, ink, and my body’s floral fragrance polymerized to create a distinct aroma around me that does not at all give a hint that I was doing what I was doing. Sound was doing its magic. That faint purr the machine lets out each time it is turned on, buzzing incrementally as I adjust it to my preference, immediately changing its vibrations as it touches my skin. The silence that fills the universe every time it is turned off. All of them were digested truthfully. Conversations were made at the back of my mind between what I know is myself and what I truly am, a familiar calm evolves from these exchanges, a calm that I have always attributed to what it is like to live in this physical world. What it feels like to question and to answer, just like a scientist would. Definitely a tradition I am now doing myself and a transformation that is inevitable for me. To more! Cheers!

© 2021. GlobalGRACE Philippines

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