INKED: With Hong Kong having its first tattoo convention, do you feel like the culture is embracing tattoo art?
WANG: It is commonplace for people in Hong Kong to cover their tattoos around the older generations. There is still a strong stigma against the tattooed for those over 50, but in Hong Kong more and more people have visible and quite often nice-looking tattoos.
Are most of your clients from Hong Kong?
Most of our clients fly in from overseas for their artwork. Because our waiting lists range from five to 36 months, we are not able to do tattoos for walk-ins. But there are more locals coming in for tattoo art now, especially compared to even three or five years ago.
You do some striking abstract tattoos. Do they reflect your painting style?
Of course. Yet every piece is also influenced by what the client wants. It is a long collaboration process that requires a lot of initial communication. And then I actually paint to create the basis for the tattoo.
What are the most popular tattoos at Tattoo Temple? It’s hard to say if there is one style that’s more popular, as each piece is made and used for just the one client. However, one of the most demanded aesthetics would be Chinese painting, known as shu fa.
To you, what makes a tattoo good?
Firstly, the client has to truly like my style of artwork. Then it is down to me as a tattoo artist to have patience to do every detail of the piece. And it is also my responsibility to keep painting and drawing as much as I can outside of tattooing. Because if you can draw it, then you can tattoo it.