Tattoo enthusiasts and practitioners, rejoice!
This international tattoo expo is not only homegrown, but was also the first of its kind in Kuala Lumpur – and it’s heading our way again for a 3-day ink extravaganza that may very well be the biggest edition yet.
The International Tattoo Expo not only celebrates the beauty and meaning behind traditional and modern ink but also champions the growing popularity of tattoo culture!
Hence, this year’s patrons can expect to be immersed in the cultural values of over 130 traditional and modern tattoo artists from 34 countries, including Malaysia, Croatia, Samoa, Mexico, Tunisia and Finland, just to name a few.
The International Tattoo Convention will also be featuring a special few artists who’ve made a name for themselves in the industry, including…
Gabe Shum from Hong Kong
Malaysian-born Gabe Shum not only founded one of the most respected tattoo studios in the world, Freedom Tattoo, but has also seen the likes of David Beckham and LeBron James as customers. FYI, Gabe has been running the Hong Kong Tattoo Expo since its inception 7 years ago and will be one of the featured tattoo artists at the upcoming Malaysian expo.
Christian Nguyen from Switzerland
Christian is the founder of boutique tattoo studio Inkvader, and is considered an artist to the stars as he’s racked up quite a steady list of celebrity customers including the boys behind Limp Bizkit and Korn as well as athletes such as Yvan Muller and Romain De Marchi.
Ernesto Kalum from Malaysia
An iconic figure in the industry, Ernesto is the only Malaysian to be listed in the book Mondial du Tatouage, which is published in France and has been featured in National Geographic’s television series, Taboo, as an expert on tattooing culture. He has also since founded the Borneo Headhunters Tattoo Studio and has inked huge names including Malaysia’s very own Henry Golding.
Others noteworthy names include Marco Leoni from Italy, Souryou Horiyoshi the Third from Japan, Jimmy Wong from Thailand, Moana from Tahiti and Lance Paulo Suluape from Samoa. This may very well be your shot to rub shoulders with literally some of the world’s best tattoo artists.
Thanks to the love and support from artists and enthusiasts, the convention, which was founded in 2015, started off as a small-scale event in Sabah but has since expanded to accommodate the extensive varieties and diversities of tattooing styles, methods and traditions.
Founder and driving force of the convention, Carlos Benny Majakil, started his tattooing journey at just 14-years-old! He also owns Koiyak Gloves, an all-local latex glove brand specifically catering to tattoo businesses that prioritises cleanliness and sanitation, and not to mention they’re also a sponsor of the expo.
“The initial three occasions resembled meetings focused on tattoo craftsmen from Malaysia and abroad. I consider myself to be a scaffold among neighbourhood and remote specialists. I’m associated with specialists from Europe and North America, so it wasn’t difficult to get them to join,” he said, as according to The Star.
But the event doesn’t just include an inking exhibition and opportunities, but also a competition to highlight and shine a deserving spotlight on exceptional bodily works of art created with blood, sweat, tears and ink.
Competition categories include: Neo Traditional, Oriental, Ornamental, Skulls, Micro Tattoo, Blackwork/Tribal and so much more. There’s even a category for Best Tattoo Collector, so if you’re proud of the extensive amount of ink you’ve accumulated for yourself, this is your time to shine!
If that’s not enough, stand a chance to win awesome prizes during the lucky draw sessions where packages to Sabah, Skull Candy products, Glo kits, Koiyak gloves and merchandise, guitar workshops courtesy of the Guitar Hospital and many, many more prizes are up for grabs.
Also, expect a rockin’ good time thanks to the 8 local bands that will be playing throughout the 3 days, from Infiltrate, Ogoshi Rebel, Berdosa, and Skitz, to Donna Marie, Fracture, Mothflesh, and Born Heroes. Not to mention, a side of Malaysian traditional dances!
The International Tattoo Expo 2019 will be happening from the 29th of November 2019 to the 1st of December 2019 at Hall 5 of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, organised by Koiyak Gloves and Carlos Benny Majakil, and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia. Doors open at 11am and close at 10pm.
Tickets are priced at RM74.20 for a day pass, while a 3-day pass is priced at RM190.80 and can be purchased at:
We can’t wait to see you there!
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