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Lamma-zine - The e-Magazine for our Island Community


Joanne Artist of the Month Nov 2006

Joanne McMullan - Lamma-based artist - website, email, mobile: 9230 9147.

(Photos by L-G, except back and leg tattoo provided by Joanne. Art gallery photos also from Joanne)

Here's my crappy bio:-

Born in Australia in 1974. Middle child with one brother, one sister. Normal school studies; math, science, English.

After high school, went directly to art school; left and went to nursing - didn't finish.

Several exhibitions in Australia from 1995 onwards, including the Victorian National Gallery, Adelaide Convention Centre, Youth Arts Centres in both Melbourne and Australia.

Ran a photography business, which introduced me to some women in the tattoo and piercing business. Having photographed them for a calendar, I became friends with one of them. They offered me an apprenticeship  in tattooing. But I had to move to Alice Springs for it... the "centre" of Australia...

I also write street poetry and songs. Having learnt tattooing, I had an offer from my uncle to visit him and work on some projects in HK. He hooked me up with the HK Youth Arts Festival - I did three major projects with them in 1999.

The rest is kind of HK history - growing up, having my first-ever shop front - Bluetongue Tattoo Gallery 2000-2004. It was during SARS that we had to close... :(  It was a very nerving experience to have a shop on my own. Somewhere though, it was a blessing in disguise to close that studio... it put me back on the HK streets again, finding new people, new jobs, new opportunities, and it brought me to Lamma!!!

Although it was a struggle for some time, Mickey Mouse came to the rescue, as I filled a painter position with them for one and a half years during the construction of HK Disneyland. I learnt so much and met so many people from all over the world - what a fantastic time (but very hard work!!!) With that money, I opened a new studio in Lan Kwai Fong.

I went back to tattooing full-time in my Central studio for some time, until I was offered a job this year with Asia Rock Art- to lead the paint on the Ngong Ping 360 project (Big Buddha). We painted the tree theatre, the temptation room, and the bodhi tree.

At the same time, we worked on the Wetlands Museum painting the crocodile enclosures. What a great team of talented, hard-working people!

On the side, I have been painting for MARVEL comics - basically painting the sculptures for the adult collectable toys. I paint the master copies before they go to Mainland China for production.

It is my dying passion now to have an exhibition in HK. It has been so long since I have picked up a paintbrush for the sake of it... it's a need in me, I can feel it... I'll keep you all informed!!

Otherwise, you can find me in Lan Kwai Fong or Lamma Island...


I was invited to Joanne's opening party of the bluetongue tattoo parlour. It's located just before the Bookworm Cafe, impossible to miss. On the 1/F, it's got a great harbour view and is a fascinating, colourful mix of artist's studio, showroom, office and home. Meeting several frequent contributors to the Lamma-zine in person for the very first time, it was a real "Lamma party": an incredibly wide range of people from many different backgrounds and nationalities, the only obvious common ground being their love for Lamma.

I interviewed Joanne later, learning a lot of fascinating facts about this flamboyant and beautiful Aussie artist with the easy laugh and outgoing nature. She's definitely a most welcome, colourful addition to the local art scene!

She's also doing eyeliner and eyebrow tattoos, saving the ladies some daily makeup time. If you want to join the Mad Dog Motorcycle Club, HK Chapter (several Lamma members), a permanent tattoo is a membership requirement! These days, a "tat" is a hip fashion statement and you meet quite a few dainty local Chinese girls sporting one in public and often on more "well-hidden" areas of their bodies.

Joanne's also an honour graduate of Emily's Cantonese evening classes (Sincere congratulations to teacher Emily for completing them recently!). Joanne's boyfriend is a "real Lamma boy", born and raised here and tattooed himself, of course. And her big male dog is called "La vache", meaning "cow" in French! For any more personal details, like which is the most sensitive body part she's ever tattooed, you'll have to ask her yourself in person!

To top off the interview - while we were discussing different tattoo techniques - I got a "free sample" myself, my first-ever tat, see left: the Chinese character "lung" (dragon) gracing my left forearm. Nobody seeing it and knowing me believed it to be permanent, but Lamma-Por was pretty shocked at first! It faded completely after just a few days.

Joanne is also available for parties for body painting and temporary tattooing! Nice way of trying on a tat for a little while. Then - if you're man or woman enough - contact Joanne and let her design something truly unique to decorate almost any part of your anatomy!

P.S. But where did the name "Blue Tongue" come from? It does not refer to Joanne's beautifully blue tongue, but to several species of "true blue Aussie lizards" which have blue tongues they use to frighten attackers!  (Photo from

Lovers 1

Lovers 2

Vision Impaired

Adventureland, Disneyland HK


Big Buddha Ngong Ping 360

Big Buddha Ngong Ping 360

Painting Marvel action figures

Painting Marvel's Iron Man

Action figure painting

Marvel's Wolverine of the X-Men


To send comments, get more info, get high-res files for printing, or to publish your own Lamma-related photos & galleries on, email Lamma-Gung.


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