Tattoo Laws in South Korea | Buy Radiant Turbo Black Online
A while ago we blogged about the illegality of tattooing in Japan, and how the laws surrounding tattooing had changed again and again over the past century. But, it's not just Japanese tattoo artists facing difficulty with the law in their careers, but artists in Korea too. At Magnum Tattoo Supplies where you can buy Radiant Turbo Black online, we're interested to know about how tattoo laws effect the tattoo industry in other countries, so today we wanted to have a look at one country in particular.
This month I'll be going to Seoul, South Korea, and until recently I wasn't aware that the practice of tattooing was illegal there (unless it's carried out by a licensed doctor), so naturally I've been reading up about it as I wanted to try and gauge how tattooed people are viewed over there, and whether it's likely to affect any aspects of my trip such as not being able to go into certain bars and restaurants. I've heard that some places in Japan deny entry to those with visible tattoos, and I had a feeling that it'd be a similar case for South Korea. I'm hopeful that it won't have much of an impact on my trip at all!
Fortunately in Korea, the police don't to heavily enforce the tattoo law, and from what I've gathered, it appears that they're more inclined to turn a blind eye to it. There are a lot of amazing tattoo artists in South Korea, (so naturally there will be a number of South Koreans walking round with some really cool tattoos), so I I'm hopeful that as a tattooed tourist I won't encounter any issues when going into bars and restaurants. But still, it got me thinking, how is it possible for tattoo artists and studios to operate? If they can't publicly advertise their work and having a shop front is out of the question, then how do people find the artists?
Seoul tattoo artist, Mirae
A lot of tattoo shops in South Korea are discreetly hidden away in basements, old buildings and warehouses, and behind fake walls, giving it a prohibition kind of vibe. I read that some artists may take your phone off you before your tattoo so that you can't take any photos that could give away their location and incriminate them, which I guess is fair enough! The best way to find tattoo artists in South Korea is through their Instagram accounts. From the accounts I've seen, they never seem to give too much information away about their location, and apparently customers are often given very vague instructions about the location of the shop, so tattoo artists are very careful when it comes to keeping their whereabouts a secret.
It's a shame that this is how it has to be in South Korea, but throughout the 20th century tattoos were typically associated with gangs and organised crime groups, it's not surprising that there's still some unease about it. However, this attitude seems to be slowly easing off, and is more of a stance taken by older generations, so hopefully over time the views, and the laws on tattooing will change for the better, allowing professional tattoo artists to carry out their jobs without looking over their shoulder.
If you've had any experience of tattooing or being tattooed in South Korea then we'd love to hear from you, so make sure you leave us a comment below! Don't forget, if you're looking for the perfect lining black ink, then you can buy Radiant Turbo Black on our online store!
Blog & image credits:
- Antonia McLoughlin