Ink Stories, 2019
For her latest series, photographer Reka Nyari captured five women of exceedingly varied backgrounds, chosen for the singularity of their body modifications, and each given a revealing nom d'encre: Geisha Ink, Valkyrie Ink, Mother Ink, Reaper Ink, and Blooming Ink.
The women also have wildly divergent stories. Geisha Ink, for instance, is the product of a strict, conservative Japanese family—and so her tattoos are shot through with the spirit of rebellion. While Reaper Ink grew up as the grandchild of a horrifyingly abusive man—so tattooing became her therapy. For Blooming Ink, the subject used inking as a way to overcome a crippling social anxiety.
"I wanted to find women that were extensively inked," Nyari reveals, "and who wanted to tell their stories. We communicate quite a bit to find symbolism and a character that relates to their life stories and experiences, and then play pretty freely on the actual shoot. The goal is to have images that are authentic, but also beautiful and haunting."