documentary & editorial photographer

Wiji Lacsamana

All photos by Martin San Diego
Words by Betina Libre

It’s nearing 4 pm in Wiji’s studio. “It’s the perfect time for coffee!” Wiji says as she smiles and sips her cup of black coffee. A few meters away from her desk rests a mood board, which appears to be various drawings ranging from animals, mandalas and quick sketches. Our eyes shifted on Wiji’s inked arm as she proudly shows off the incredible detail that rises up to her shoulder. It appears to be a woman with big hair and captivating eyes. Not too far from her is a parrot, which seems to be her protector. Getting lost in all of the details, it wouldn’t be a surprise if your eyes would want to linger a little bit longer.

As a tattoo artist, Wiji believes that there has to be a connection between the client and the tattoo artist. It takes a huge amount of trust between the two. For the artist, the job is not only leaving a mark, but also leaving a symbol to tell a story. For the client, it’s giving that trust entirely to the artist to allow him or her to translate the soul.¬ This is one of the reasons why Wiji is quite careful with the work she does, she selects the work that connects with her and gives her all.