The Tattooed Lady


During Kat and Colleen’s first trip to Japan in 2015, they fell in love with country, culture, arts and hospitality. They bought this artwork by Ann Silver to remember the trip. Shown in the tattoos on the woman’s back are hand motifs, language symbols, in Japanese Sign Language. One thing that Kat and Colleen learned during their trip is, unlike in America, tattoos are taboo. In Japan, to get a tattoo was to affiliate yourself with something unsavory. With that in mind, this piece has an undercurrent of rebellion. The red robe covers the woman’s language in public, but here in her private room, she uncovers herself and we see that inside, she is brimming with desire for communication.


Ann Silver


The Tattooed Lady




Digital collage on paper


There is a lady with the tattoo on the back sitting on the floor and wearing a red robe. She is a Japanese woman and reading the American Sign Language book. Her back is visibly full of blue tattoos with ASL.


Ann Silver, “The Tattooed Lady,” RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center , accessed March 22, 2023,