Adon Irani
We found faculty members who wear their hearts on their skin and asked them the (sometimes dreaded) question: “What does your tattoo mean?” (Photos by Alexa Battler)
Monday, May 13 - 2019
Alexa Battler

Adon Irani, educational technology supervisor in the Centre for Teaching and Learning

Adon Irani’s two half sleeves tell a story of his past and present, or as he puts it, his “inheritance and experience.” 

Irani is of ancient Persian ancestry — on his father’s side, his ancestors are Zoroastrian, one of the world’s oldest religious communities. His half sleeve is a scene of faith — the face of God peers down from the clouds, while angels fly above a mountain. Symbols of the religion scatter the scene, including a gold necklace.

“From an ethnicity identity perspective, I was always exploring and figuring out where I fit in,” he says.

Irani used inspiration from a children’s book he was given about the religion, and a wooden box his father gave him printed with symbols. 

On his other arm is a scene inspired by his own experiences. He had the tattoo done while finishing his Master’s degree in social and political thought, in the faculty of environmental sciences at York University. 

The scene depicts symbols of power — an oil drum, a pawn, money, food — intertwined with images of nature and technology, including clockwork spiraling from a tree. 

“I was really grappling with the idea of what is nature and where does technology fit within it, and kind of these deeper questions around how we operate about our humanity,” he says. “I wanted something that represented this intermixing.”

One of his most visible tattoos is a bright green 1-Up Mushroom, the iconic boost that gives players an extra life in almost every Super Mario Bros game. 

“I’ve always had work done that’s more personal to me, but I ended up getting this one done and it kind of just has a fun meaning,” he says. “It’s led to some interesting conversations.”

Read more:

Inked @ U of T Scarborough: Shana Ye

Inked @ U of T Scarborough: Lewis Kaye

INKED @ U of T SCARBOROUGH: T.L. COWAN

INKED @ U OF T SCARBOROUGH: SHAUN YOUNG

INKED @ U OF T SCARBOROUGH:  JUDY BRUNTON