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Greetings from Seoul


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Hi all. I'm glad to find this forum. I've got a full sleeve, most of my other arm filled and a back piece but I've been in a 5 year tattoo drought. I've been living in Seoul and I just haven't been terribly impressed by the level of artists here. The tattoo scene is still technically illegal here so the talent just isn't on the same level as Japan. There seems to be a lack of enforcement so shops are popping up everywhere. When I was in the Army I lived in Korea back in 2001, soldiers were banned from getting tattoos but beyond that shops were underground and difficult to find. I met a guy who was affiliated with some shady people who introduced me to a tattooer that was popular with the Korean mafia. I took a look at his work and it was pretty good. Showed up at a random address in a random apartment building...smiled at the surveillance camera and was buzzed in. Anyway, long story short, Korea has come a long way but still has a very long way to go. Actually earlier this year there was a tattoo convention in a smaller town....only 4 million people :) locals were concerned about all of these tattooed people milling around the convention center. The cops were called and they started arresting artists and attendees....anyone with a tattoo. Needless to say the event was shutdown. That gives you an idea of the mentality here.

I look forward to hanging out and learning more. No more mediocre tattoos for me. After some time passes I'm hoping to get some advice from you guys. I found a promising artist but he is extremely expensive ($250/hr). He is based out of Seoul but he spends alot of time tattooing at shops in LA and Europe. I'd like your opinions about his work. It looks pretty but I'm not convinced it will hold up.

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