10 Questions with.. Hanna Metha

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In our new series of ‘10 questions with‘ we had a chance to speak to one amazing member : Hanna Metha.

Hanna Meta
Hanna Metha – (Credit Hanna Meta)

Hanna runs Tiling Tutuh in Ubud, Bali. Tiling Tutuh proudly preserves traditional cultural heritage through exquisite tattoo artistry. She believe’s that art is not just a fleeting trend, but an eternal representation of culture, history, and self-expression.

Tiling Tutuh is dedicated to providing a space where ancient traditions intertwine with modern techniques, resulting in unique and timeless works of art. Captivating world of tattooing and body piercing, steeped in history, symbolism, and craftsmanship.

1. Can you share a bit about the history and significance of traditional Indonesian art tattoos, and how they differ from contemporary tattoo styles?

Hanna : Traditional Indonesian tattoos use natural elements like plant-based inks and thorns, reflecting a deep connection to nature and societal status. At Tiling Tutuh, we blend these ancient practices with modern, sanitised tools for safety and hygiene.

2. What initially drew you to specialise in traditional Indonesian cultural art tattoos, and how did you learn the art form?

Hanna : Inspired by Apo Whang-Od’s story in Vogue, I ventured to learn from Indonesian ‘Apos’ on Timor Island, aiming to preserve our rich tattoo heritage.

3. Besides modern tattoo machines, what traditional tools and techniques do you employ in the tattooing process?

Hanna : Tiling Tutuh specialises in Mentawai (hand-tapped), Borneo (hand-tapped with two sticks, geometric designs), and Malaka (hand-poked) techniques, along with modern machines.

4. How do you approach the design process for traditional Indonesian art form tattoos? Are there specific cultural elements or symbols that are commonly incorporated?

Hanna : We merge ancient designs with clients’ visions, creating unique tattoos rooted in traditional Indonesian art forms.

5. Can you describe the traditional tattooing rituals or ceremonies that may be associated with the tattoos, and how you integrate these into your practice?

Hanna : Typically outdoor, with shaman-led rituals, we respect these traditions while adapting to a contemporary and inclusive studio environment.

6. Do you recommend designs and artwork to your clients or can they come in with random designs -(e.g. Dolphin?) Is the process safe and hygienic and how long will an average session take?

Hanna : Our diverse team collaborates with clients on designs, ensuring both tradition and personal expression. All processes are safe, hygienic, and tailored to individual needs.


Hanna Meta


7. Traditional Indonesian tattoos often have deep cultural meanings. Can you share a memorable experience where you were able to capture the essence of a client’s story or heritage through a tattoo?

Hanna : A poignant memory involves learning about protective tattoos for women during WW2 in Timor. These tattoos were symbols of marital status, a poignant history I carry on my own skin.

8. How do you stay true to the authenticity of traditional Indonesian tattooing while still allowing for personalisation and creativity in your work?

Hanna : Consultations are key, ensuring each tattoo carries meaningful stories, emotions, and cultural authenticity.

9. Are there specific challenges or limitations that come with using a mix of modern technology and traditional inking in your tattooing process, and how do you overcome them?

Hanna : Balancing traditional methods with modern technology requires time and skill, a challenge our talented artists meet by respecting ancient techniques while embracing contemporary styles.

Hanna Meta creating a traditional tattoo

10. As a traditional Indonesian cultural art tattoo artist, how do you see the future of this art form, especially in the context of preserving cultural heritage in the face of evolving tattooing technologies, designs and POP fashion?

Hanna : I envision a future where traditional Indonesian tattoos flourish, bridging the gap between preserving cultural heritage and adapting to evolving technologies and trends. By educating and sharing these art forms, we not only keep our traditions alive but also enrich the global tattoo landscape. This fusion of old and new can create a dynamic, respectful space for cultural art, appealing to a diverse, modern audience while honouring our roots.

Hanna Meta

Thanks Hanna for your time!

Tiling Tutuh is located at : Jl. Hanoman No.10, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud ,Kabupaten Gianyar ,Bali, Indonesia

Website : https://www.tilingtutuh.com/

Instagram : @tilingtutuh

For Appointments please WhatsApp Hanna at : +62 812-1389-2261