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Hello, and please help me get my BfA!:)
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
October 18, 2014
11:29 pm
New Forum Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
October 18, 2014

Hey Church of Body Modification members, sorry about this long post…

My name is Nico van Niekerk, a student artist from Canada. Apart from skateboarding and making artwork(http://www.nicovn.com) I'm enthusiastic about body modification. I have stretched earlobes (at 9/16"), surface anchor piercing on my right cheek bone, two piercings on my "forward" helix, retired lower lip labret piercings, and two tattoos.

I'm writing a paper to get my BfA in Fine Arts(Drawing and Painting major) at the Ontario College of Art and Design (http://www.ocadu.ca).
I have chosen to discuss the art of body modification as my thesis, and I was hoping that you would be able to help me to collect some data for my research.

Please write as honestly as possible, if you would like further privacy, feel free to email me atnico.vn.art@gmail.com

What I would like to know is:
1)What was your original motivation for modifying your body (why did you get that first piercing, tattoo etc)? 
2)What is it that motivates you to continue to acquire body modifications? 
3)What margins do you draw for yourself and others, in other words what you would never do, or want to see others do, and why?
4)What is your position on the involvement of pain with this activity?
5)How has modifying your body changed your perception on yourself and others, or changed the ways that others perceive you?

To conclude my first post here I would like to add a disclaimer in that I will not be revealing any personal information (your real name etc) that you give to me, but will rather be noting the patterns see in your experiences.


October 20, 2014
7:56 am
Forum Posts: 886
Member Since:
January 7, 2011

Hi Nico, welcome to the forum!


1) Aesthetics and exploring my identity as a teenager.

2) Spiritual growth and exploration, finding a deeper sense of self and limitations, where i end end and everyone else begins. Self ownership. And aesthetics!


3) I don't draw margins or limits for others, that is theirs to do. The exception would be if it interferes in the rights of others, such as causing physical harm or modifying without informed consent. For myself the margins and boundaries have changed over time, and i find myself exploring things i had expected to be beyond my limit. Therefore i feel such predictions are false and only relevant to the moment, not the future.


4) Initially pain was a challenge to overcome, something to endure, a part of the rite. Without the pain we may learn less, no longer have challenges to rise to. In more recent times I have learned not to suppress pain, but accept and embrace it as part of the experience of my body and mind, and over time often to enjoy it.


5)I can't really say how it changes perception in others, as i neither know their mind nor are 'others' a homogenous group. I note i get looked at more, or may be seen as different perhaps, as i am markedly physically different by choice. Changed perception of myself? That's difficult as my journey has been ongoing for quite a long time and one naturally changes. I suppose i feel stronger,  more knowledgeable about myself, more in tune with the divine. Thinking about it more i think most importantly i have fully embraced and accepted who i am.


Hope these help. Please fel free to ask any more questions or let me know if i can provide any more assistance.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
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