Photo of the day: Iron Mao Tyson


This week’s photo theme is: Bad Chinese Tattoos. Self-explanatory.

We’re going to depart early from linguistic badness, and reach into the territory of all around aesthetic failure. Here we have Mike Tyson, renowned heavyweight world champion, sporting a portrait of Mao Zedong on his bicep.

Did you know Mike Tyson had this tattoo? Because we didn’t. And generally, we know what’s up when it comes to both Iron Mike and the chairman. Apparently while in jail, Mike became seriously intimate with the writings of Mao Zedong. Later after visiting Beijing and Mao’s mausoleum in 2006, he said “I felt really insignificant next to the remains of Mao.”

Mao did actually have some impressive writings (have you ever read his lesser known tear-down of US race relations?), but still — this is mad weird, Mike. It doesn’t help that the chairman’s three letter moniker is scrawled bluntly underneath his face in the notorious chop suey font:

Designing the Chinese American Brand

In summation, this tat is weird, but so is Mike. Stay tuned for more bad tattoos tomorrow.

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a Shanghai-based writer, producer, and multimedia artist, and the Associate Editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school so he could train at the Shaolin Temple, but now just uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan