lifestyle • 13 Jun, 2017
5 Korean Female Tattoo Artists To Follow On Instagram
The girls that defy the law for their art
In a country where tattoos are both illegal and culturally abhorred, these five artists from South Korea are risking their freedom and testing their mothers’ patients for their love of ink. Undeterred, however, these female pioneers of a nascent underground tattoo scene are forging a new path for skin art by setting up shop on Instagram and sharing their quirky designs with the world. See their stories below:
With over 100 tattoos, 27-year-old Lyuhwa is the most heavily tattooed of our top five, and with three on her face it’s a wonder she evades arrest. Speaking to ID Magazine, she says that she was inspired to get into tattooing by her high school bully, who had a big tattoo. Gratifyingly the mean girl recently got in touch with Lyuhwa to ask if she would ink her next design.... #denied.
Fashion addict Mirae says people wear their tattoos as they their wear their clothes, and sees her body art as a way to combine her love of ‘doodling’ and clothes design. The 25 year old still hasn’t confessed her ink to her father, managing to hide it away under sweaters on winter visits. Lucky for tattoo fans, the same can’t be said of her Instagram page.
Nini, who boasts 22 tattoos, says that for her, having ink done is like ‘collecting memories’. Her first tattoo was a rose across her chest while her most poignant is her late ex-boyfriend’s initials. She says that her family regularly beg her not to have any more tattoos, but evidently she can’t resist. Her goal is to establish more ’camaraderie’ between female tattoo artists in Korea, who do a lot of ‘tearing each other down’.
Ellie says she’s pretty new to tattooing, with her original passion for piercings and body modification – of which she has lots (including a magnet in her hand). Nonetheless, the 23 year old threw herself into the tattoo world by having the whole side of her head inked and now she has over ten tats. No half measures for this girl.
Former veterinary nurse Jiran prefers the softer side of tattooing, with her specialty inking pictures of people’s pets, and most of her own tattoos of her cats. She says she only got into tattooing five years ago and that, luckily for her, her family is really supportive, with her younger brother also in on the trend.
Words by Rebecca Jones