A Korean Artist Creates Delicate Tattoos and They’re the Embodiment of Tenderness
For many people, tattoos seem to go deeper than just skin deep, psychologists say. They create a deep personal change, which makes a person mentally stronger. Sion Kwak is a tattooist from South Korea whose works will not be confused with any other artist’s, because of her signature style. Red laces, beads with intricate ornaments, and colorful animals — all these elements are united to create meaningful pictures on people’s skin.
We at Bright Side take our hats off to the genuine skill of this tattooist, and we’d love for you to admire some of her work together with us.
The love for tattoo art came to the artist with her mother’s milk.
In her interview with Bright Side, Sion says: “I was strongly inspired by my mother, who is also a tattoo artist, when I was a child. I carefully watched her work and learned a few things, starting from basic skills in the beginning. But because our drawing styles are different, I created my own style mostly by myself after learning those basic skills.”
The signature technique of the artist has no name, but it does have a powerful message.
Many of Sion’s works include red strings that have a special significance for the artist. As she explains, they represent the flow of life and “Yin-Yeon” — the ties and bond between people. The beads and pendants that are threaded with strings show different pictures: from flowers to animals, and these elements have a special meaning for the people who ask Sion to do their tattoos.
Sometimes, she combines the pictures with phrases, and these tattoos have a deep philosophy behind them. One of her recent works depicts the sun and moon inside a norigae with the phrase “아무도 날 모르는 곳에” which means “where no one knows me” in Korean.
The square pendant with the sun and the scenery of a vast mountain and nature was designed by envisioning the “unknown” place, which holds the meaning of the phrase. The moon is expressed in a simple way, hanging on the black and gray strings.
The artist’s source of inspiration are people and their life stories.
Sion tries to get a sense of the life her clients live and her inspirations are the life stories that she hears and the people that she meets, who are also the ones sharing those stories. By listening to them and communicating thoroughly, she can get creative and come up with different ideas for her drawings. Sometimes her clients are her partners in creating unique tattoo designs.
Here’s a tattoo she made in collaboration with Zihaes.tale for one of her clients which expresses conflicting self. "It’s hard to face it sometimes, but it’s all part of who we are and the emotions we need," says the artist.
2 strings that are bright and dark represent the 2 sides of the conflicting self. The overall strings are expressed as a long flow and the pendants depict 2 different girls, who turn out to be 2 sides of one personality.
Sion never gets tired of learning and sharing knowledge at the same time.
The artist spends a lot of time learning about the symbols that will soon become a part of her work. By doing this, she wants to create unique designs for every person who comes to her. The tattoos are meant to become people’s talismans, this is why it’s so important for the artist to use the proper language of signs and pictures, and show that each person as a unique place in the Universe.
Sion has a few tattoos on her body as well. These were done by people who she likes and respects, and also by those who were probably not meant to stay in her life for a long time. Each tattoo is like a page from a family album for her and she cherishes every one of them.
The artist is totally in love with her country and she wants to share it with other people.
While being asked about what her special message to her clients is, Sion didn’t hesitate to say: “Through my work, I hope people can appreciate not only the aesthetic beauty but also the intrinsic beauty of traditional Korean culture all around the world — the norigae, fan, Hanbok, and knots that symbolize Korea’s native spirit of ‘ties’ between individuals, all hold strong messages that I’d love to share with everyone!”
What idea for a tattoo do you have in mind for yourself or maybe you already have one on your body? What’s the story behind it?