'Point Of No Return'

Q&A with Tattoo artist and creator of PONR, Fade Manning

FacebookFade 'Dotwork' FX


B: Borneo Art Collective

FD: Fade Manning

B: Describe your film-making approach. Tell us story of your investigation? 

FD: We wanted to capture the tattoo history and culture based around this practice in tribal Borneo. I have visitied many times and learnt hand tapped tattooing from my Iban friends. This unique ancient art is being lost with the elder generation and modernization of the tribes, so we wanted to capture it before the art becomes history.

B: Why and how did you start your film making career? 

FD: I started my film making career with this project! I had a camera guy come with me to film the journey and edit it into a short film. People have always said I should take a camera with me when I visit my friends in the tribes, so I organized the project and got sponsorship from SkinDeep tattoo magazine.

B: Who/what influenced you to begin this film making approach? 

FD: The Iban people inspired this project. Their rich tattoo history and culture along with the hospitable nature of the tribe and tattoo artists in Borneo.

B: Tell us about the film/documentary you would like to share with our audience? What is the big message you are trying to deliver through this film? 

FD: Content- Tattoo artist fade FX will be heading deep into the jungles of Borneo to meet the last of the head hunter tribes people who still practice the ancient art of Iban hand tapped tattooing. Fade has visited the rainforest of Borneo on many occasions but this time she will be joined by film maker Tom Kelly who aims to capture this dying art form and explore the threats the Skrang Iban culture face. Fade’s hope is that the documentary will raise awareness to allow the Skrang Iban people to continue their traditional sustainable way of life.
“The rainforest is an amazing place and we hope to capture the mystery and beauty of what remains of the unspoilt jungle.”
Fade combines her work as a tattooist with her love of travel and she has tattooed all over the globe
“I’ve travelled quite a bit and I’ve tattooed in the USA, Australia, Europe and of course Borneo. All of them were great places to visit and work but Borneo holds a real special place in my heart. It took a lot of perseverance to get the Skrang Iban to teach me hand tapped tattooing as its secrets are closely guided even within the tribe let alone them being accessed by an outsider from the other side of the globe.”

Filming method and collaborator- Tom J Kelly is a Film & Commercial Director based in the U.K. He is an award winning short film maker.
"My vision for this documentary from a cinematography perspective is to create beautiful imagery of the country and the journey we take to get to the tribe using cinematic composition and time-lapse while keeping a sense of immediacy and realism with the use of handheld shots when Fade is engaging with the locals.”
“My direction for the film will be to encourage Fade to use her knowledge of the subject matter to ask the kind of questions which will provide real insight for people who have a keen interest in this form of tattooing and culture while making sure that people with less knowledge (me) understand what’s being talked about. There will also be elements of travel documentary styles as well as the sub-plot of the aggressive logging which is happening in the region and causing great harm to the tribe we will be living with.”
“I hope the documentary forms an important piece of work which can educate and enlighten people about the lives of the Iban tribe, their history and the deep links their tattoos.”

B: Where do you see your film making approach evolving in the near future? What are you trying to achieve at this point?

FD: I wanted to document this ancient art before it is lost with the elder generation.

B: How do you see PONR potential at the moment?

FD: The film will go to film festivals worldwide and hopefully get a deal along the way. Half of any profit from the film will go back to the tribe.

B: How could people access your film/documentary at the moment? Is there any public participation/volunteer you allow in your project/group?

FD: The trailer is on Vimeo but the film is still pre release. It will be released after it has been on the film festival circuit.

B: Please recommend stories/projects/individuals/groups that we should reach out to in order to expand the Borneo Art Collective network.

FD: Boy Skrang- Tattoo Artist in Borneo
Baxx Jordan- Tattoo Artist in Borneo
Arth Akal- Tattoo Artist in Borneo



Mashing it up @ the Granary Kitchen + Bar

Mashing it up @ the Granary Kitchen + Bar