South Korea, TRAVEL

SEOUL INK BOMB TATTOO CONVENTION

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Ink Bomb 2014 is a pretty rockin event for a country that still enforces laws against tattooing and carries a general social disdain for the sight of inked skin.

In the spirit of non-conformity, a few friends and I went to the Ink Bomb tattoo convention this year to soak up the heady alt-atmosphere. During our time there we got to see world-renowned artists and watch people get inked from head to toe. We drank free tequila shots, let live music eviscerate our eardrums, and felt our jaws hit the floor at the super steamy burlesque show.

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Retro-style and traditional Japanese were the most popular styles of tattooing at the show. I saw colourful koi fish, firey kirin and Samurai so intricately needled that each strand of hair looked like it would move in the wind. The tattooists clearly put their spirit into every piece they created, morphing the tattooed into walking works of art.

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Unfortunately the cost of tattooing at the convention was pretty inflated. I saw one Japanese tattooist charging 15,000 yen (150,000 won) per hour. Perhaps if I start saving now, I can afford to get tattooed at Ink Bomb 2015….

I later found out the convention was shut down due to police responding to public complaints. All the tattooists were told to clear out which resulted in a great loss of revenue. Fingers crossed the organisers of Ink Bomb will deem it worthwhile to host it next year.

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