Joey Pang of Tattoo Temple in Hong Kong is one of the most renowned tattoo artists in the world. With a wait list over two years long, Pang’s work is quite popular to say the least. Describing herself as “the world’s only professional Chinese calligraphy and Asian painting tattoo artist,” Pang’s work is of the traditional Chinese variety. Creating artfully rendered tigers, Chinese dragons, calligraphy, and cherry blossoms, Pang’s work is uncommonly beautiful and uncommonly hard to get your hands on. So it’s understandable that when Pang and sneaker giant, House of Future, announced that they had a collaboration planned, both the tattoo and sneaker world let out a collective fan girl squeal.
Consisting of three limited edition sneakers, the collaboration features House of Future’s signature hi-top and Pang’s coveted art. Available in three different patterns, White Lotus and Black Lotus are a tribute to the Chinese calligraphy found throughout Pang’s work, and Black Dragon is a take on her absolutely stunning dragon portraits. Before deciding on the final three designs, there were at least 20 others that were considered. “The consideration was both to capture the more signature aesthetics of the studio whilst not being overbearing, from a fashion standpoint,” says Pang. “Just as when creating artwork for clients, the House of Future’s insight was highly influential.”
Designed with durability in mind, the shoes are made from a combination of Tyvek and leather, with Pang’s designs being printed on the Tyvek. Pang says that although there are some similarities when designing for a fixed canvas versus designing for human skin, the collaboration did present some unique challenges. “With the shoes the frame for the artwork was comparatively fixed,” says Pang. “In body art you can play on existing lines and dimensions to create unique effects with essentially all areas being open. I suppose the main challenge was in alluding to this more free form, tailored artwork aesthetic whilst still working within comparatively constrained proportions.”
For fans of Pang’s art work, there’s additional good news. "We have been in discussions for a fight-gear line, a high-end audio system as well as jewelry, but these are still yet to be confirmed," Pang reveals. "Client sessions for the Hong Kong studio are set into 2019 so we're really focusing on these before splitting our time between here and the UK.”
The House of Future x Joey Pang collaboration is now available online, and retails for $120. You might not be able to book an appointment with the famed tattoo artist quite yet, but at least you can satiate your hunger Pangs with a little fancy footwork.