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A photographic book and video documentary of the disappearing culture of facial tattoos among the Lai Tu Chin people of Myanmar.
A photographic book and video documentary of the disappearing culture of facial tattoos among the Lai Tu Chin people of Myanmar.
A photographic book and video documentary of the disappearing culture of facial tattoos among the Lai Tu Chin people of Myanmar.
160 backers pledged AU$ 22,877 to help bring this project to life.

About

The History and Culture of the Lai Tu Chin People project video thumbnail
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The History and Culture of the Lai Tu Chin People

AU$ 22,877

160

Our Project

Hmäe Sün Näe Ti Cengkhü Nu is the first book to tell the stories of the Lai Tu Chin culture and its tattoo-faced ladies. It preserves the dying culture of the Lai Tu Chin people by recording and photographically recreating scenes of their lives and history. It also contains dozens of portraits of the tattoo-faced women of the tribe and the tales they shared with me.

Lai Tu Chin Farmer
Lai Tu Chin Farmer

  

Why Our Project is Important

Until now, there has been no other record of the Lai Tu Chin traditions and culture. This book gives not only the world, but the Lai Tu Chin people a look into their culture like never before. With the Myanmar government's efforts to homogenise the country, much of the Lai Tu Chin culture was lost or made illegal. Many of their cultural artefacts were either sold off or stolen, and important traditions like the tattoo making process are no longer practised. The still living generations who received the tattoos are the last who will have them. This book preserves what is left of their disappearing culture.

Hardcover and Softcover Samples Side-by-Side
Hardcover and Softcover Samples Side-by-Side

Lai Tu Chin women had their faces tattooed in the past as a coming-of-age mark, and a sign that they belonged to the tribe. This practise was carried out on girls, usually before they reached puberty, and was considered a mark of beauty. The book records these ladies experiences, memories and current opinions on the now extinct practise. 

Lai Phat, one of the tattoo-faced ladies, during our portrait session
Lai Phat, one of the tattoo-faced ladies, during our portrait session

  

Right now, the Lai Tu people are living in an under-developed part of Myanmar with limited access to education and basic necessities. Due to a lack of infrastructure, they face difficulty improving their own situation through practical methods that have worked in the past.

Why We Need You

Now that our design is complete and we have the test print in our hands, we are looking to fund our first print run. Our goal has always been to provide this book as a historical record to those we have worked with. You contribution will make this possible. We will also be able to then distribute this book through our channels in Myanmar – and proceeds from those sales will go towards providing clean drinking water and education for the Lai Tu Chin people in Rakhine State. We would like to make the book available by October of this year, and need your support to make a large print run.

A traditional Lai Tu dance
A traditional Lai Tu dance

  

Who We Are

We are Seoul-based design, photography, and videography team comprising of Dylan Goldby, Pablo Fuentes Gómez, and Wesley Chang. We're passionate about our craft, and the good that we are able to do in the world using it. We firmly believe that the past is important in shaping the future, and we should all have the chance to learn about our history and the history of others. The world is changing, but we can provide the means to share where it came from through our arts.

A mock-up from the book design
A mock-up from the book design

  

Timeline


Stretch Goal #1: $20,000AUDWe're happy to announce our first stretch goal. If we make it to $20,000AUD by the end of this campaign, we'll be including a signed portrait print with each book reward. The size of the print will correspond to the size of your book.

Risks and challenges

Our content is completely finished, and our test prints have been done with our local printer in Seoul. They are ready to go at a moment's notice, and just need a green light from us. We have taken care to make sure that everything is ready to go, and now we simply need to make our order.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 12 or more About $9

    POSTCARDS

    Set of 10 postcards from Mrauk U and the Laymro River.

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    20 backers
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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 35 or more About $27

    SOFTCOVER BOOK (EARLYBIRD)

    Softcover copy of Hmäe Sün Näe Ti Cengkhü Nu (earlybird pricing). Measuring 200x200mm, this is a gorgeous, small, lightweight book.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    AU$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 42 or more About $32

    SOFTCOVER BOOK

    Softcover copy of Hmäe Sün Näe Ti Cengkhü Nu. Measuring 200x200mm, this is a gorgeous, small, lightweight book.

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    43 backers
    AU$
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 85 or more About $65

    HARDCOVER BOOK (EARLYBIRD)

    Hardcover copy of Hmäe Sün Näe Ti Cengkhü Nu (Earlybird Pricing). A larger 250x250mm hardcover book. This is how the photos were meant to be seen.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    AU$
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 99 or more About $76

    HARDCOVER BOOK

    Hardcover copy of Hmäe Sün Näe Ti Cengkhü Nu. A larger 250x250mm hardcover book. This is how the photos were meant to be seen.

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    26 backers
    AU$
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 190 or more About $146

    GIFT PACK

    Hardcover copy of Hmäe Sün Näe Ti Cengkhü Nu, PLUS two softcover books, PLUS two sets of postcards.

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    6 backers
    AU$
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 350 or more About $269

    LIMITED EDITION BOX SET

    Boxed copy of the hardcover book, PLUS traditional woven Lai Tu scarf (woven just for us by one of our interviewees), PLUS USB stick containing video portraits, PLUS three exclusive 8x8" prints, PLUS set of 10 postcards.

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    Limited 8 backers
    AU$
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 2,000 or more About US$ 1,535

    GUIDED VILLAGE PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

    A 5 day guided tour through some of the Lai Tu Chin villages with photographer Dylan Goldby from this project. Take your time to craft your own portraits in the village with step by step tuition along the way. Your airfare is not included.

    You'll also get a signed copy of the hardcover book in your hands, personally delivered to you as we begin the tour.

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    AU$
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Funding period

- (30 days)