Tracy Tattoo Talk

Meeting T&T's Artist Buddies | Inside the Top Traditional Japanese Tattoo Shop in Hong Kong

Meeting T&T's Artist Buddies | Inside the Top Traditional Japanese Tattoo Shop in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong's tattoo art community, there is a tattoo artist named Mr. Wu, renowned for his exquisite skills and passion for traditional Japanese tattoos. His story began in a barbershop, but a chance tattoo experience completely changed his career path. Master Mr. Wu is not only a skilled tattoo artist but also a cultural inheritor, integrating his passion for art and insights into life into every creation.

TTK Tattoo Studio Tour

In the great cultural melting pot of Hong Kong, the TTK Tattoo Studio is quietly nestled within a bustling business center. Entering this shop is like passing through a mysterious portal into a world full of stories and traditions. Here, each tattoo is not just a decoration but a symbol of identity, an expression of a lifestyle.

Located in the heart of Hong Kong, TTK Taers tattoo services but also serves as a platform for cultural exchange, allowing every guest who enters the studio to feel the stories and meanings behind traditional Japanese tattoos.

Limited Edition Handcrafted Japanese Collectibles

Every corner of the tattoo shop is filled with Japanese-style masks, ukiyo-e prints, and wood carvings. Most of the wood carvings in the shop are handcrafted by masters from Japan and Vietnam and were brought to Hong Kong by Mr. Wu from Vietnam. In fact, handcrafted wood carvings are not easily found on the market because their production is meticulous and very labor-intensive. Much like the rare production of Japanese whisky, sometimes they cannot be purchased even at high prices. Therefore, these wood carvings hold a very high status in the hearts of those who are passionate about Japanese tattoos.

"I tend to learn about the hobbies and cultural elements that interest my clients."

  • What difficult issues have you encountered in your more than ten years of experience?

The first challenge is that, as you know, with societal development, the tattoo industry is becoming increasingly accepted worldwide. Among the diverse client base, there still remains a minority of people who have prejudices against tattoos or who do not fully understand the artistry of our industry.

The second challenge, which I also want to discuss with my fellow tattoo artists, is that many customers choose tattoos due to their trendy nature. For instance, they like tattoos, but they do not carefully understand the background of the tattoo artist, how long they have been in the profession, and their level of skill. For these clients, both novice and veteran artists are the same, which also means that the prices of tattoos are roughly similar because they do not understand how much time and intellectual effort a veteran artist invests in creating a stunning tattoo piece.

  • Do many clients come to you after seeing your work?

Many clients who come to me have already been following my Facebook or Instagram accounts, some for a year or even longer, before they decide to visit. These clients have made a special effort to understand the art of tattooing and how many years of experience the artist has, and I am particularly grateful that my clients take the time to learn about me.

  • How do you start your day at work?

If you ask whether designing a Japanese tattoo pattern is difficult, the answer is definitely yes. Generally, it’s not just about Japanese tattoo patterns but also includes other styles, such as European and American styles. Our studio specializes in traditional Japanese tattoo styles, and many clients come to us for larger designs. I tend to learn about the hobbies and cultural elements that interest my clients and incorporate these into the designs.

“Because the needles are just the right strength, they work well with my machine. This prevents damage to the skin and subcutaneous tissue, making it easier to apply the ink.”

  • Do you have any personal preferences or techniques when selecting tattoo equipment?

Everyone has their own experience. For instance, when talking about machines, each one has different functions and special features. When I draw outlines, I use Sunskin lines, and for coloring, I use an eccentric rotary tattoo machine. Everyone has their own preferences and experiences, which differ.

I know that many masters in Hong Kong prefer pen-style tattoo machines, but I myself favor the eccentric rotary tattoo machine, and even each needle is from a different brand. Each needle has its advantages. The needles I currently use are from T&T; they are just the right strength, work well with my machine, and do not easily damage the skin or subcutaneous tissue, thus making it easier to apply color.

  • What advice do you have for beginners or young people who want to get into tattooing?

I am a pioneer in this industry, and based on my accumulated experience, I can tell you that tattooing is a very challenging field. You will realize this once you start learning the craft.

This industry requires not only physical labor but also mental effort; it is an art, and pursuing art is very difficult. Therefore, for those just starting out, you must put your utmost effort into every piece you create. When I first started, I was just like you. I began learning to tattoo, and I often did it for free for many people to practice my skills. It's not just about learning for a month or two; it takes a long time to train. The harder you work, the quicker you will improve your skills.

However, I would also like to advise those who have already entered the profession not to give up easily. I've been there myself. If you asked me to look back at my own work when I first started, I would find it barely presentable. Every tattoo artist who now creates beautiful work has surely gone through a process of making mistakes or even ruining some pieces.

You can't expect to create great tattoos just as you start learning and entering the field. You need to have a deep love for the industry and be passionate about your craft. I believe other professional tattoo artists are the same as me; they carefully review each piece of work to see what could be improved or needs to be changed.

Through this visit, we can sense the endless vitality of the Hong Kong tattoo market, as well as Mr. Wu's efforts and achievements in heritage and innovation. Mr. Wu's passion and dedication to tattoo art are precisely why TTK stands out in the competitive Hong Kong tattoo market.

This Asia Tour interview is just the beginning of our tattoo artist series. We will continue to explore the lives of more unique artists, their stories, and how they translate life into patterns on skin. Please stay tuned to our series for more on the art and inspiration behind it. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel to ensure you don’t miss any exciting content.

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