Saturday, December 12, 2015

Kinabalu Tattoo Convention - Tattooing becoming a popular trade

KOTA KINABALU: Contrary to popular belief, tattooing is a trade that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

At least, that is the case for Nico Broghammer, who credits his father as his biggest influence and inspiration in his career.

Nico, who hails from Germany, joined 62 other tattoo artists from all around the world at the first ever Kinabalu Tattoo Convention, which began yesterday at the 1Borneo Exhibition Hall and will run through Sunday, December 13.

Although Nico only formally began tattooing at the age of 19, he has always been encircling the edges of the tattoo scene, owing to the fact that both his parents are tattoo artists.

“I grew up in the scene, in the tattoo business, so I think the most part is from my parents,” he said.

“It’s definitely the way that I will be.”

Aside from his father, who is his “hero” in the industry, Nico also draws inspiration from tattoo artists such as Filip Leu and James Tex.

Despite his youthfulness, the 22-year-old has participated in tattoo conventions in Canada and Hong Kong prior to joining tattoo enthusiasts in the ‘Land Below the Wind’.

Another tattoo artist from Thailand began sharing the tricks of the trade with his son about four to five years ago.

Jimmy Wong, who has been in the scene for a whopping 44 years, now takes his 24-year-old son with him to each convention he partakes in.

Beginning in 1971, Jimmy started off tattooing American soldiers during the war in Vietnam, which explains his earlier American-infused style.

Nowadays, Jimmy leans more towards traditional Thai designs, which he said were growing ever more popular in the country.

“In the olden days, there were not many traditional styles as they were only popular amongst the monks,” he explained.

“Today, it’s a more public phenomenon; everybody is doing the traditional style tattoo.”

For local Pip Lubasi, it is the passion for tattooing that keeps his love for the art alive.

As one of the pioneering tattoo artists in Kota Kinabalu, Pip has broadened his horizons through exhibitions and conventions the world over, in which he has been a party to.