A brave man.
These are the final moments into a large piece Peter Suluape honored a man with, that took exactly 7 hours to complete. The pain in this part of the chest was the most intense he has ever experienced. What made things worse was that he had to hold his breath throughout the time Peter worked on his chest.
As he quotes: "This became exhausting and also another reason why he did half of the chest first and then moved onto the inside of the arm before coming back to this part. He was concerned about the pain I was enduring and noted that the Chest portion was also the most painful. During this my body experienced cramping and alot of shivering as well. Muscle spasms became almost unpreventable at this stage of the piece. I endured 7 hours of continuous work (with only 2 x 10 minute breaks) in front of hundreds of people and artists who were able to walk up to the stage where we were and look closely at Peter's art. Having gone through many surgeries in my life, being hit by cars, breaking bones, getting concussions, etc...this was surely the most pain I felt. I was exhausted when I got up and just prior to this portion of the video I got light headed when switching positions. My thighs also cramped up badly. The constant adrenaline that my body produced throughout this in order to combat the pain and stress that the body felt as the blades cut into my skin left me dazed. That being said, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I now have something that VERY VERY few people in this world do. A traditional Tatau is given to those as a right of passage and generally reserved for heads of families. I proudly show off my piece now and know that I earned it. Most of u think I am crazy for doing this, but I was able to prove to myself how much I can tolerate for something I truly wanted! This piece was done in the 2011 Inked Out Tattoo Convention in NJ on Saturday, Sept. 24th- where he was the headlining artist. He flew in from Samoa with his father Patelo Suluape - the man who taught him this traditional and most pure form of tattooing. I plan on seeing him again in the near future so that he can finish the rest of my arm (elbow down). Oh, I also went on that day and won the BEST in SHOW Tattoo competition too!"
Su'a Peter Suluape, Master Tattooist, is the son of renowned Samoan traditional tattoo artist, Su'a Suluape Petelo Alaiva'a. At the young age of 8 he was introduced to the world of tatau by assisting with his father's work as a stretcher and at 15 he began assisting his father in the crafting of traditional tools. Peter received his own tatau "pe'a" for his 19th birthday from his father. This process completely changed his outlook on life and as a result he decided that he would take on tattooing as his sole career path prior to which he had ambitions to become a teacher. Immediately after his 21st birthday, he made his own very first tools - 'au mogo and 'au sogi'aso - and began practicing on any brave and willing relative. Less than a month later, his father sent him to New Zealand to practice tatau there and gain some knowledge and experience away from the island shores. During his stay in New Zealand, he felt a void that was brought on by not having yet received the traditional and "official" blessing of the art of tatau from his father. After 4 years he visited Samoa and was bestowed this honor. He returned to New Zealand to continue tatau for 2 years and in 2007 decided that it was time to return home to help his father look after the aiga ("extended family") and to learn more about the art from him and in July 2007 he did just that.
Original source and full article at: www.bigtattooplanet.com/petersuluape