Photo gallery: Bangkok International Tattoo Convention

Photo gallery: Bangkok International Tattoo Convention

Crowds were light, giving visitors a chance to get inked by some of the world's greats

Bangkok’s first International Tattoo Convention hit Impact Arena over the weekend, giving ink lovers a chance to witness some of the world’s top tattooists work their guns.

“There are some really famous artists here,” said Sebastian De Roziers of the Paris-based tattoo studio Squareye. (Scroll down through the gallery to see some of the big names at work.)

Yet despite the big names, not to mention Thailand’s long history of traditional tattooing, the punter turnout was relatively low and dominated by visiting and resident foreigners.

“We come here to Asia,” explained American tattoo artist Milton Nunez, “but we’re mostly tattooing tourists and Westerners. Many locals still don’t see it as an art form.”

The small turnout has some advantages, according to Nunez, a student of preeminent California artist Jess Yen: “My master has a two- to three-year wait list in L.A., but here you can just walk up and get tattooed.”

And as you can see below, quite a few did.

A visitor getting a tattoo at Bangkok’s first International Tattoo Convention, which united local and international professional tattoo artists, a handful of visiting body art enthusiasts and some of Bangkok’s most inked-up residents.One of the many visitors to Bangkok’s first International Tattoo Convention taking advantage of the light crowds to add some new art to his body. The two images above show renowned Japanese tattoo artist Shige at work at Bangkok’s first International Tattoo Convention. Artists such as Hawaii’s Mike Ledger and Shige had little time to take part in the more social aspects of the event, instead constantly working needles, often surrounded by a group of picture-taking fans.A visitor to Bangkok’s International Tattoo Convention displays the most recent work of California tattoo artist Jess Yen.Chinese tattoo artist Lie Huo at work at Bangkok’s International Tattoo Convention.California-based tattoo artist Milton Nunez displays two of his many tattoos. “Each show is different,” said Nunez. “Some shows are about making money, some are strictly for exchanging information. This one is more of a working holiday.”Animal designs were a popular choice by many clients. Here, an Italian tattoo artist creates a tiger design at Bangkok’s International Tattoo Convention.Another view of the action. “For someone who wants to get a tattoo, it’s perfect,” explained Sydney-based tattoo artist Josh Roelink. “There are many good artists and not many customers.”German tattoo artist Suzanne Stichert at work at Bangkok’s International Tattoo Convention.One of the many unusual tattoos on display by visitors to Bangkok’s International Tattoo Convention. Not quite sure what to make of this one...Bangkok-based DJ and musician Por adds to his collection of body art at the Bangkok International Tattoo Convention. A tattoo artist at work at Bangkok’s International Tattoo Convention, which was held in association with a partner event in Singapore.A visiting tattoo artist at work at Bangkok’s International Tattoo Convention. A Chinese tattoo artist displays his colorful body art, Bangkok International Tattoo Convention.The nearly 100 artists hosted by the convention travelled from as far as France, Italy, the UK and the United States, and as near as Japan and Malaysia, as well as Thailand.A local body art enthusiast displays her latest tattoo.

Austin Bush is an American writer/photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand. His photos have been published in variety of magazines, books and newspapers including DestinAsian, Food & Travel, Olive, Saveur, Travel + Leisure, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, as well as numerous Lonely Planet publications. For an online portfolio and samples of his work, check out www.austinbushphotography.com.

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