The exhibition “Make-up – Shaped for Life?” explores the practice of body modification in all its forms. Body decoration is a feature common to all cultures and ages. Making alterations to the body and skin appears to be something basically human. People do it to express belonging to a specific group, with the intention of matching an ideal or in the hope of re-inventing themselves and setting themselves apart from others. What do individuals do to their skin and bodies – how far are they prepared to go? The exhibition covers the full range of practices from make-up, body painting, tat¬toos, piercing, scarification to complete body transformation.
Japanese make-up set including a substance for blackening teeth (ohaguro); © MKB
Pre-Columbian tomb pottery featuring face painting, clay, Peru; © MKB
Tattoo on thigh, model: Sandy Caracciolo; © MKB, photo: Derek Li Wan Po, 2013
Iatmul ceremonial chair featuring ornamental scars, Papua New Guinea; © MKB
Ceramic figure with nose piercing, Puruha, Ecuador; © MKB
Body modifications: Tattoo, piercing, silicone implant, model: Sandy Caracciolo; © MKB, photo: Derek Li Wan Po, 2013