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Hong Kong's best tattoo studios

Looking to add a bit of style to your skin? Arthur Tam and Annie Wong check out some new city tattoo parlours that should colour your body – and your life

 

The Company Tattoo

This tattoo parlour in Mong Kok is opened up by hip young duo Vince Yue and Marcus Yuen. The pair sport a fun flash tattoo aesthetic and use thick bold lines and vibrant, shocking colours in their designs. And, of course, they can do much more besides, like rockabilly styles and black-and-white motifs. Besides tattoos, the shop also offers inexpensive tapered haircuts. There’s a fresh, easy, urban vibe at The Company, complete with an arcade machine for when ya wanna just, you know, hang out.

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Mong Kok

Lovinkit

Lovinkit, along with other artists in the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood, aims to turn the area into an up-and-coming creative hotspot. Owner Jayers Ko Tsz-mei adheres to the strictest sterilisation procedures and her shop considerately has smoking and non-smoking areas. She mostly specialises in colour and says she designs with a ‘painter’s touch’. The waitlist is between one and two months, and rates start at $800. If you can’t wait that long, get a tat from Ko’s apprentice, Alan Yu Chun-lung, who specialises in black-and-white traditional American designs and charges $400 and up. He accepts walk-ins and appointments. From time to time, the guys host guest tattoo artists from abroad.  

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Sham Shui Po

Soul Canvas Ink

Have you always wanted Mother Teresa’s face tattooed on your upper arm? With award-winning tat artist Kin Liu, you can get Jesus, Mary and the whole gang without worrying about a horror story of biblical proportions ending up on your skin.  Kin Liu opened up his parlour, Soul Canvas Ink, in Sheung Wan after 13 years in the business and experience at Hong Kong’s revered Tattoo Temple. A respected tat artist in the community, he specialises in realistic human portraits, so if Mother Teresa isn’t your cuppa, he also does celebrity figures like Bob Marley, Al Pacino and even K-Pop star TOP. Prices for a black and white portrait go for around $5,000 and colour goes for $6,000. The wait time is usually two months for Liu to conjure up a design, though. But if you have something already in mind, the wait is a mere week.

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Sheung Wan
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Tattoo Temple

You have to book three years in advance if you want Joey Pang, founder of Tattoo Temple, to ink up your skin. She is a true artist and is fully committed to giving unique, original and creative designs. Of course, this also means her prices can creep into the five-digit-mark but you’re paying for quality here. The Tattoo Temple hosts an incredible 3,000 sq ft space with a comfortable Zen like feel.Everything is super clean, the tools are properly sterilised, and they use imported organic ink from the UK and US. Pang really is one of the best artists in Asia and along with her fellow artists at the parlour, give new meaning to the old adage ‘patience is a virtue’. 

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Central

Galaxy Tattoo III

Hailed as ‘Dragon King’, you know Dust ‘Horitsuki’ Wu is something great. Following suit from his mentor, Nicckuhori, godson of the legendary Horiyoshi III, Dust went on to open up his own tattoo shop in Sai Ying Pun. Covered with framed tattoo work and posters, Galaxy Tattoo III offers a much more contemporary vibe than other parlours. Dust injects his unique flair into his artwork of koi fish, Hanya masks and is known for his infamous dragon pieces. With several resident artists at Galaxy Tattoo, each with different specialties, you’re bound to find a style right for you. 

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Sai Ying Pun
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Star Crossed Tattoo

Walking in is like walking into your friend’s flat, cue comfy sofas and soothing music. Then you see Rich and Ross – South Africans who came to HK in 2010 to pursue their dream of running their own studio. Prices start from $1,000 an hour (for over two hours); smaller pieces start from $500.

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Tsim Sha Tsui

Jimmy Ho Tatttoo

Jimmy Ho learnt everything about the trade from his father, James, who was the first tattoo artist in Hong Kong. Jimmy’s 40-year long career has seen him ink countless filmstars and gangsters. Surprisingly, the body of the veteran is without a spot of ink. Prices start at $650 an hour.

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Mong Kok

Blackout Tattoo

With the belief hat every tattoo should be a collaboration between artist and client,  the edgy style of the studio reflects the style of Australian owner and artist Rob Kelly, who has lived in Hong Kong for 17 years. Kelly creates one off custom designs for each and every person and welcomes bookings for consultation. 

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Sheung Wan
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Boom

Specialises in temporary tattoos that last from one to three weeks. Those who can’t decide what to ink should pay a visit here before they go permanent. But for those who did change their mind about their ink, tattoo removals are also available at Boom. 

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Causeway Bay
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