PantoneMyArt - Tattoo in Colour 2015

We chat with three local tattoo artists ahead of tcc – The Gallery’s body art-themed exhibition
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Just when we thought tcc – The Gallery had outdone itself by taking its annual PantoneMyArt series into the third dimension with last year’s 3D in Art exhibition, it’s back with yet another intriguing theme: tattoos. Titled Tattoo in Colour, the show celebrates the world of body ink.

‘Tattoos are very popular in today’s society, and are seen as a form of self-expression or a fashion statement,’ says Claude Verly, the curator. ‘But not many understand their beauty and technical expertise. So we felt it would be exciting to pay homage to this intricate form of body art.’

Ten local or locally based tattoo artists pick a shade from the Pantone palette and are given free rein on what to create – so long as they stick to the colour and the theme. We ask three of the artists about their journey and their art.

Tattoo in Colour is at tcc - The Gallery from Jan 15 - March 30.

Chris Sim

'Tree of Life' by Chris Sim

Chris Sim grew up influenced by punk rock and skateboarding culture. He always knew he’d get tattooed, but never thought he’d actually be an artist.

How did you get into tattooing?
After junior college, I got a few UV tattoos, which led to an interest in the subculture. Then I bought a tattoo kit, and a senior tattoo artist taught me the basics. I went on to get my degree in business marketing but I knew I didn’t want to work in the corporate world.

Describe your tattoo style.
I do mostly black and grey, script lettering, UV and white ink, which is not very common. Sacred geometry dotwork and the culture and heritage behind it inspire me.

What or who inspires you?

Tattoo artists like Marco Galdo, Xed Le Head and Jondix. Their work never fails to impress, and to see them work so diligently to master their craft drives me to constantly practise.

Tell us about your piece.

My piece uses the symbolism of the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life, which stands for the connection between all forms of creation.

'The Destruction of Andhaka' by Mudohori

Mudohori confesses he was abused by his dad and got into ‘a lot’ of trouble in and out of school – before dropping out of secondary school.

How did you get into tattooing?

I got my first tattoo at 18. When I saw it being done, I was intrigued and wanted to try it out. But in 1996, getting tattoo equipment was next to impossible. So I made my own tattoo machine using a Tamiya motor, safety pins, a stapler, a battery and a coke can.

Describe your tattoo style.

Graphic-styled oriental, strongly influenced by graphic novels, religion, history and mythology.

What or who inspires you?

Music – I let the music move me before I start any project.

Tell us about your piece.

It’s based on a legend from Shiva Purana, a Hindu text. In it, a manifestation of Shiva hacks off the head of the demon king, Andhaka, with his trident.

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'Flash' by Feroze McLeod

When Feroze McLeod returned to Singapore from his studies in New Zealand, he did graphic designs for punk bands to earn money for tattoos.

How did you get into tattooing?

I was heavily involved in the hardcore scene in New Zealand, and seeing all my favorite bands with tattoos made me want them. I started by drawing old school tattoo art – which was very bad.

Describe your tattoo style.

Old school and traditional. I sometimes get carried away with detail; some of my work ends up looking neo-traditional.

What or who inspires you?

Old films and eccentric books from the turn of the century. And anything cool on Instagram.

Tell us about your piece.                    

It’s a traditional backpiece with tattoos I’ve done before, and I drew the portrait for the show.

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