Protest tattoos are on the rise in Hong Kong. Tattooist YC Carl Lee has inked six people with this design that can be read vertically as Hong Kong and horizontally as “ga yau” (add oil), a phrase of encouragement. Photo: courtesy of YC Carl Lee

Umbrella, goggles, flag: tattoos use symbols of Hong Kong protest as permanent reminder of defiance, passion and pride

  • Scores of Hongkongers have been tattooed with symbols of this summer’s protests. It’s to show support and passion for their home, say tattooists and clients
  • Designs include items protesters wear and carry, bauhinia flowers to symbolise the city, and a clever use of Chinese characters with a double meaning
Topic |   Hong Kong protests

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Protest tattoos are on the rise in Hong Kong. Tattooist YC Carl Lee has inked six people with this design that can be read vertically as Hong Kong and horizontally as “ga yau” (add oil), a phrase of encouragement. Photo: courtesy of YC Carl Lee
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Lauren James

Lauren James

Lauren James joined SCMP as part of the Young Post team in 2015, before moving to the Culture desk in 2017. Originally from the UK, she enjoys writing about arts and entertainment, environmental issues, health and fitness, technology and food. She is an avid gig-goer and passionate about Hong Kong's music scene.