Tattoos of Tibetan Ex-Political Prisoners: Palden


[VIDEO] Palden Gyatso is the inspiration behind this series.

Palden Gyatso was born in Tibet, he was ordained as a monk by the 13th Dalai Lama. Palden was arrested in the 1950s, and spent 33 years in different forced labor (laogai) camps. As a young monk, he had two ‘yundon’ (swastika) tattooed on his hands with needle and ink.

During Mao’s cultural revolution, the guards used knives to remove these tattoos, citing them as part of the ‘four olds’.

Palden’s wrote ‘Fire Under the Snow’, telling his story. He is an active participant in human rights events, and presented at the Beastie Boys’ legendary ‘Tibet Freedom Concerts’. He is the inspiration behind Built on Respect, and in particular, the tattoo project.

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