301-87 Griffith St.
Coolangatta, QLD, Australia
07 5536 4980
What year did you start tattooing?
I started tattooing the summer of 2001 in Tokyo, Japan.
How did you get into tattooing?
I was born in South Korea, and I left my country about 14 years ago. I went to Tokyo to be an architect, but from the moment I saw the Japanese traditional tattoo style I fell in love with it. It took two years to decide because I’d already studied a long time to be an architect, but then I started tattooing traditional tattoos.
Where did you apprentice?
I started to teach myself in Tokyo. I practiced on my whole body—right arm, chest, belly, etc.
Do you have any special training?
Not really. I didn’t study any particular art form, but I did paint and draw a lot from when I was really little.
What conventions have you worked? Have you won any awards? What are some of your best convention memories?
NYC, Massachusetts Tattoo and Arts Festival, TattooLaPalooza, Evian, Surf n’ Ink, Sydney Expo, Rite of Passage, Brussels, but my favorite show is London. I won Best of Show at the Mass Tattoo Fest, Best of Show at the NYC convention, and Best Color at Surf n’ Ink. My favorite award is the Artist Choice Award I won at the Massachusetts Tattoo and Arts Festival 2010. The artists who attended the show gave me the award. I was really honored.
How do you describe your style?
What inspires you as an artist?
Everything! Art from all over the world, and music. My clients’ ideas, my friends’ ideas, people who I’ve met during my travels, and even people who I see on the street. Also, family and their support.
What sets you apart from other artists?
Actually, I don’t know. I want to mix Asian fantasy and western realistic stuff very well one day.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Tin-Tin from France, Filip Leu from Switzerland, and Horiyoshi III from Japan. Then Nick Baxter, Boris, Nikko Hurtado, and Mike DeVries gave me many inspirations for color realism. Bob Tyrrell, Andy Engel, Robert Hernandez, and Paul Booth have inspired my black-and-gray realism. I still get inspired by other tattoo artists; there are many talented artists all over the world.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I really enjoy what I’m doing with realism right now. Most of my customers like the way I do color realism. It’s one of my favorites, but I’m still hoping to create my own style: neo fantasy style. This style has oriental fantasy with western realistic elements. I call this combination neo fantasy. I hope one day everybody sees what I’m trying to do and loves it as much as I do.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
I ask them if I’m the kind of artist they were looking for to do their tattoo. If they think so, we try to find the best way to make us both happy.