Tattoo artist Ding
We have been looking for this new addition to the tattoo team for a really long time. He lefthandedly handles colors, and his tattoos have style. We are proud to introduce the newest member of the Hell family, a specialist in Chinese watercolor and calligraphy, who moved to us directly from China. Meet Ding!
Whendid you first become interested in tattoos?
I was about fifteen. That's when I started listening to rock, metal, punk. A lot of the musicians I saw in the videos had tattoos. Nice tattoos. Most of the tattoos I'd seen "live" up to that point were pretty scary. I had my first tattoo done shortly after the music festival, where I saw a lot of hilarious tattoos.
What was it?
It is on my hand. It is a religious object, a cup made of a human skull. I still have that tattoo.
How did your shift from customer to tattoo artist come about?
The tattoo artist who tattooed me, offered me to try it with him. I went to him to learn for about two months, but then I gave up. I didn't learn much. Mainly because he didn't know much himself. For a long time, I made a living from music. Eventually, I returned to tattooing and enrolled in a six-month tattoo course at one of the great tattoo parlors in Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province. But in China, these courses are a tough business, so there's a lot of pressure at the moment. This is despite the fact that for most people tattooing is still taboo there.
In China, tattoos are still associated with the mafia, especially among the elderly. In addition, if a person has a tattoo, he can not usually work in state-owned companies. Although they are gaining more and more popularity among the young, it is still a low percentage. It is also necessary to say that the negative attitude towards tattoos is primarily a matter of the majority population, i.e. the Han.
Can you elaborate a little bit?
China is home to many nationalities, officially fifty-six. Most Chinese are Han. A number of minority nationalities have their traditional tattoos, which unfortunately are gradually disappearing. Today, only older members tend to have them. This is also because the cultures and customs of these minorities are generally considered reactionary. As far as I know, tattoos are quite common among young Buddhist monks in southern China. They usually tattoo parts of sacred texts or various symbols.
So it seems that for tattooed people there is no honey in their life. Tattoo artists must have a hard time there too...
Yes and no. Some things are easier for tattoo artists there. Since tattoos are not officially regulated in China, virtually anyone can open a studio. In China, nobody really cares about it, so there are a lot of studios and a lot of tattoo artists where you can't be sure of the quality. I also opened a studio and later joined forces with a friend and we moved to a larger one in the center of Chengdu. But with us, of course, the quality was guaranteed (laughs). Unfortunately, making a living from tattoos in China is a struggle, the overpressure of tattoo artists means very low prices and that's why we often tattooed for free because of the reviews.
So you tattooed basically anything the client wanted?
Exactly, there wasn't much choice. I wouldn't want to go back to it, but on the other hand, I've learned so much. Plus, thanks to that, I now know what I enjoy. The first tattoo I made professionally was an orchid in Chinese watercolor style. And Chinese watercolor is one of the styles I still do to this day.
Great, we've been missing that style so far. What else? What should customers come to you with?
My favourite at the moment is calligraphic tattoos, i.e. Chinese characters in artistic form. And also tattoos inspired by Chinese ink and wash painting. The main inspiration for me are flowers, animals, mountains... And, of course, the paintings of the masters of Chinese ink and wash painting. I work with both black and color. In Prague, I noticed the popularity of Chinese characters, but most of them are tattooed really terribly. Not only technically, but often the chosen fonts are simply aesthetically terrible. And of course, in most cases, it's crap that doesn't make sense. Never get your name tattooed in Chinese. It doesn't work that way! But I have to say that this is not much different from China, where people get tattoos of nonsensical inscriptions in English.
What you need to know about Ding
- specialist in Chinese watercolor and calligraphy
- understands the Chinese characters he tattoos
- works with colors
- make an appointment with Ding at the Hell reception at +420 775 353 696
Ding on networks