KATHMANDU: A three-day extravaganza of the divine union between skin and ink has started. At Yak and Yeti’s conference hall, you can witness this one-of-a-kind world of body art. From tattooing to piercing to body modification to scarification and more, you can experience everything at the 2nd International Nepal Tattoo Convention — a melting pot of tattoo artists and tattoo lovers from around the world.
At around 64 stalls put up by tattoo artists from different countries, the convention is all set to make an indelible impressions on its visitors.
Enter the conference hall, take a left and you will be welcomed by a couple Umesh and Anusha Dahal — both tattoo artists. Umesh, who also paints, had already sold four of his paintings on the first day of the convention. Anusha, on the other hand, waiting for her client is the only female tattoo artist from Nepal participating in the convention. Anuhsa, who usually makes tribal tattoos and portraits shared, “As there are more males, I get respect as well as recognition as a female.”
At the other end of the same row was beautiful Marina Greber, all the way from Switzerland, sketching the image of a bio-mechanic tattoo on white paper. “I have got a request from one Nepali national to make it for him,” said the artist, whose another work for the day is to “make the portrait of a client’s father”.
You have more options to get inked by female artists from Italy and the US.
Browse for your favourite
Are you crazy for oriental/Thai tattoos? Six tattoo artists from Thailand — who have come together in a group — will get you the desired tattoos. Sakeen Shrestha, a college student, eagerly looking at the tattoos made by one of the artists expressed, “I love the designs — especially of Buddha and the mandala — and I am planning to get one on my left sleeve.” Like Shrestha, there were many other tattoo enthusiasts who seemed interested to ink their body parts with Thai tattoos.
Nonitwat Jantaraprasit, the team leader of the Thai group who had been to the convention last year as well opined, “It is an occasion to exchange knowledge and techniques of the best of tattoo art around the world.” He added that it was Mohan Gurung from Mohan’s Tattoo who had invited them to the convention.
For those who want to get piercings, then Primitive Art Piercing and Tattoo Studio from Singapore has it all. Together with tattooing, you will get to pierce your body parts at the stall.
This is not all. To experience more, get to the venue, fix a time with your favourite artist who can give you your desired design and get inked.
If you don’t have much of an idea about which design to opt for, you need not bother for almost all stalls have booklets with their designs and you can just browse through them and ask to be inked in the design of your choice.
The convention is also the right place if you want to buy needles or machines or ink or any other things required for tattoos for Tattoo Empire India has its stall there. Anu Singh, owner of the company said, “We have everything required to make and take care of a tattoo together with Mitra’s Tattoo products launched today.”
As such you can purchase phone covers, pillow covers, skate boards and more with tattoo designs on them.
Get the local touch
In this convergence of tattoo artists from different corners of the globe, you will not miss Nepali tattoo artists as well.
As Srijan Bikram Gyawali lay down on the chair, his abdomen became a canvas for artist Sudeep Khadka, who looked more than happy to ink the shape of an elf on his friend’s body. “It is really fun to work in conventions and I am excited,” he stated.
Gyawali, who got two tattoos in last year’s convention, seemed equally excited. “I am addicted to the pain of tattooing,” he mentioned and further added, “You get more energy seeing more people around you getting inked.”
At the convention you can also opt to go for Mohan’s Tattoo Inn, or Gagan’s Tattoo Inn, Tikee Jhya, Static Engravers and many others.
Anand j Tatoo and Piercing from Pokhara is another Nepali tattoo studio “that will showcase its tattoo works in the convention on the second and third day”, as per Rabin Nakarmi, one of the artists.
Unique and record holders
At the venue you will find a man with a long beard at the Alle Tatto stall. He is Aless Amdro — who has recently set the Guinness World Records for tattooing in the highest place 5,900 metres, near the Everest base camp. “I also made the longest tattoo — 60 hours — doing it non-stop,” says Amdro who also went 35-metres underwater be the one to tattoo in the deepest place ever.
Amdro, who seemed quite popular in the convention and had already done four tattoos by the afternoon shared, “Some have even come to me to get my signature tattooed on their bodies.”
Hand-poking by Swasitan from Germany is probably one thing that you would want to try here. Swasitan who was busy poking the head of his friend with chopsticks shared, “Usually I make mandalas with dot works.” And if you wonder what kind of design you want, take a look at his head which has the design. “Hand poking is a popular form of tattooing in Asian and European nations, including Nepal,” he said.
And don’t miss to meet Quentin Inglis from the UK. He has something different and interesting to offer. Scarification is one thing that Inglis will do in the convention. “Scarifying involves scratching, etching, burning, or superficially cutting designs, pictures, or words into the skin as a permanent body modification,” says the artist whose other talent is subdermal implant. “In this implant you just cut the skin layer, separate the skin and implant the object or jewellery underneath the skin. As such the body is allowed to heal over the implant to create a raised design,” he shared showcasing a subdermal implant in his hand that is in the shape of a bangle. “It is just like plastic surgery,” revealed the artist who had come to Nepal for the first time some 24 years ago. “That time I was here as a traveller and roamed around Freak Street. I had never imagined that one day I would be in participating in the convention at Yak and Yeti,” said Inglis who dragged a lot of attention from the crowd and many were eagerly taking photos with him.
“I love Nepal and India a lot, and this convention was a reason to come to Nepal,” revealed Inglis who will be staging suspension and freak show on the last day of the convention at 5:00 pm. “I do suspensions for spiritual reasons and usually in woods,” he added.
Be it the artists or visitors, everyone was quite enthusiastic to be a part of the convention. “We are getting a very good response and the number of participating artists increased even before the convention started, so we have around 64 stalls in total,” said Gurung.
The convention organised by Mu’az Entertainment and Mohan’s Tattoo Inn is presented by Nepal Tattoo Private Ltd. The Himalayan Times is the print media partner of the event.
The event begins at 9:00 am to 8:00 pm at Hotel Yak and Yeti on April 28. Tickets are available at the gate.