The massive boom of the South Korean tattoo industry gave way to talented tattoo artists who are mostly operating illegally under the unforgiving yet lax tattoo law of the country. Many of them are women who went above the archetypal image of South Korean beauty by going to what other women in their city see as ‘extreme’ lengths by covering themselves in tattoos done only by the finest underground tattoo artists in South Korea. All the while regarding cosmetic practices such as plastic surgery as norm. Beauty standards truly are odd.
One of the women who caught my eye is a blackwork tattoo artist named Nawoo Kim who works at Carpet Bombing Ink in Seoul. She personifies the divergence of South Korean beauty and underground tattoo scene by choosing to embrace both aspects of the South Korean culture and subculture and to not conform to the traditional standard.
She's this femme fatale who seems to be very comfortable in her own skin yet continues admit that she's not free from insecurities and doubts women encounter on a daily basis. Despite all of this, she's still so effortlessly beautiful.
Nawoo Kim is a big fan of goth aesthetics but that doesn't stop her from channelling her inner girly-girl by supporting local and hitting beauty stores in Seoul so she can have that pearly glow to match with her blackwork sleeves.
The South Korean tattoo industry is a mostly close-knit community of tattoo artists who put network and connections over rivalry. In their private feeds, you can see how they get together on the weekends and even visit each other in their shops. Nawoo Kim is close acquaintances with another female tattoo artist 9gag named as the “Hottest Tattooist In Korea Right Now,” Nini.
Nini's chest piece was done by Nawoo herself — a simple blackwork chest piece of traditional flowers.
Nawoo is not just a stunning woman but this foxy femme also creates some really incredible blackwork tattoos which are mostly traditional-inspired and bold with occasionally fine accents.
Of course, she likes to unwind by sitting down to play some arcade.
SHE IS A WORK OF ART.
Here she is at night on a pool looking every bit of an ethereal river nymph. Life isn't fair. When I swim at night, I only end up looking like a sad, lost puppy.
How can something so bad as nicotine look this good?
Here she is in her natural state: Dazzling.
How to be you/yours? I'm (sort of) kidding, alright.
Follow Nawoo on Instagram.