Tattoos have a long history in China. They even have a place in traditional literature – Shijin, a character in Water Margin, has tattoos of 9 dragons on his back. Many hundreds of years ago, people bearing the mark of a tattoo were much maligned. During the Tang Dynasty, bald-headed tattooed hoodlums raised hell, fighting each other and robbing the populace.
Up until recent times, tattoos were – and still are by some – associated with undesirables and a criminal element. Still, as is common in contemporary China, the Western trend of ordinary, upstanding people having tattoos is rapidly gaining popularity. Now, thanks to the prevalence of tattoos adorning pop culture icons such as singers and movie stars, business people, white collar workers and office girls are going under the needle for that personalized indelible style.
Around Beijing, ropey looking tattoos that have the appearance of being made by somebody’s mate with a not so sharp implement and a bottle of ink are often on show, making many people aware of the availability of crude tattoos. What a great many people don’t know is that Beijing boasts a number of clinically clean, professionally-staffed world class tattoo studios. Here are four of the better ones.
Spring TattooView In Map
Before opening Spring Tattoo, tattoo expert Zhang Hong Mei (Meizi) got her training in New York under well-known American tattoo artists Paul Booth. Meizi specializes in traditional Chinese-style figures and Chinese script. The parlor has a database of names in a wide variety of languages;
if you wish to get your own name, or that of a loved one, tattooed in Chinese characters you will be inked with an accurate transliteration.
As a member of the United European Tattoo Artists, Meizi is well up on matters of hygiene. She uses German equipment and disposable needles, following European directives in terms of hygiene. Not only does Spring Tattoos offer tattoos from its own designs and pre-existing designs, they also offer cover up tattoos. That embarrassing Popeye tattoo that you got whilst on a bender in Phuket can be covered up with a more tasteful traditional Chinese design. Located on a busy Sanlitun bar street, Spring Tattoo Parlor enjoys an international clientele and is popular with the inked up expat crowd.
Add: 39-2-1002 Xinfu Ercun, Chaoyang District Beijing
Creation Tattoo 天玺刺青 View In Map
Opening in 2009, Creation Tattoo is one of the new kids on the block, as far as Beijing Tattoo studios are concerned. Having said this, the collective experience of the body art professionals at the studio is a good number of years. Tattooist Haiyang has 11 years of tattoo work experience and some of his crowning works are impressive large scale pieces involving intricate, colorful designs that cover the customer’s whole torso. His specialty style is traditional Chinese art-inspired designs, featuring dragons, phoenixes, ghosts and demons.
Fly, a slightly less seasoned younger artist, makes up for what he lacks in experience with innovative design and creativity. His creations feature traditional tattoo subject matter with his own cartoon-esque twist.
Not only does this trendy, well-decorated studio in the up market Soho complex offer top quality tattoos, they also offer professional body piercing, microdermal tattoos and tattoo removal. The experts at the studio also pass on their knowledge of body art to willing students. Creation Tattoo also has their own fantastic line of T-shirts embroidered with tattoo designs.
Add: #4309, Building 4, Jianwai Soho, Dongsanhuan Zhong Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区东三环中路39号 建外Soho4号楼4309号商铺
Tel: 010 5869 1886, 139 1126 9662 (English speaking)
Longxiutang Tattoo 龙绣堂 View In Map
Located between the stunning factory buildings, chimneys and structures of 751 Power Square just a short stroll from the hustle and bustle of the 798 art district, Longxiutang has been a forerunner in China’s tattoo business since over a decade. The studio once boasted being the largest in China at its original location in Nvren Jie before it was demolished last year. The tattoo parlor was originally founded by Xiao Long (齐旭龙), a famous Chinese tattoo artist now based in New York, with the vision of promoting and developing tattoo culture in China at a time when tattoos were associated with derogatory stereotypes. The studio is currently run by Tian Ju (田举), a tattoo master with over ten years of experience.
The studio itself is equipped with the top quality, international standard equipment. Needles are never re-used and ensuring the highest standards of hygiene is one of the studio’s top priorities. Tattoos don’t come cheap, with the minimum price for tattoos starting from 500RMB. As a professional studio, Longxiutang does not do walk-ins. Those interested need to book several weeks in advance due to waiting lists and Tian Ju is known for turning down people who wander in unprepared or without a clear concept about the tattoo they want. English language isn’t spoken fluently here but communication through pictures usually does the trick.
Add: 751 Power Square, 798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 139 10737761
Ghost Space Tattoo Studio 诡异空间纹身 View In Map
The resident tattooist at Ghost Space Tattoo Studio is He Wenqian, who started out as a tattoo artist more than eight years ago. With all this experience under his belt his works are popular with both the local and expat community. From muscle bound foreign guys with macho tattoos to dainty, well to do Chinese ladies looking for small lotus blossoms or a carp to decorate their midriff, He Wenqian has had all manner of clientele in his studio chair and under the needle.
Although He is not an English speaker, guests are able to bring a friend to translate or can communicate using pictures. He is happy to work from ready made designs or create custom designs specific to the client’s requirements. The entire operation exudes professionalism and the centrally-located, comfortable and pleasant studio in Longfusi is in keeping with this expertise. Prices are not cheap, with the smallest simplest designs starting at 500RMB, but it is worth paying for quality, especially when it is something as personal and long lasting as a tattoo. In addition to tattoos, Ghost Space Tattoos also offers body piercing from simple ear piercing to more private and exotic piercing.
Add: No. B-26, 1/F Longfusi Plaza, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6401 3066
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Keywords: best tattoo artists beijing Beijing’s best tattoo parlors best places to get tattoos beijing best beijing tattoo studios
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I was in China in March, and me and some of my friends got tattoos at Creation Tattoo in Beijing. All five of us had different motives and three different tattoo parlors, and all were very happy with the quality, no one had any difficulties in the healing time either. Can't tell you how good they are with colour, since none of us got into that. Also true that they don't speak so much english as mentioned above, but they do their work properly and the standars are high. Recommended for anyone having a tattoo in Beijing :)
Apr 26, 2012 16:58 Report Abuse
I recently got some work done at creation studios and have to say that im really happy with the results. Real high class ability shown in the end product with regard to bleeding and healing time ect and the detail provided in the work is true art. Nice guys that speak little english so if your needing that help then make sure the manager will be there for your appointment as his level of understanding is better. They quoted me after my first session for 6 hours and it ended up taking 9 due to the detail ......and with no additional charge. love their work and would happily send any of my friends there.
Mar 19, 2012 01:02 Report Abuse
Can't believe Dong Dong as mentioned in the 3rd post above did not make it on the list. he is one of the best in China right now.
Don't believe me? Check his work yourself...
[Please Google "Mummy Tattoo" (I'm not allowed to leave a link)]
I don't mean to disparage the other artists mentioned but his work is clearly head and shoulders above the rest - for real!
...And hells, if your not one HECK of a talented artist don't mention the likes of Paul Booth in relation to yourself because your raising peoples expectations.
On checking the ladies work via her website I was expecting a certain caliber of work and was inevitably disappointed....
I don't want to be horrible or tread on anyones feelings but cummon keeping it real her work is average at best and not even in the same universe as Paul Booth.
Another awesome Chinese artist is Xinlong Cheng. Check him out...
[His site is wenmingtianxia dot com]
Sure he's based in Shenyang, Liaoning province but I include a link to his site so you can compare the quality of his work. I'd take a trip from Beijing to Shenyang just to get ink from Xinlong Cheng over any of the guys in this list :)
Feb 22, 2012 05:02 Report Abuse
I recently went to one tattoo artist to do a 35 hours piece of work and obviously I looked at all the alternative in Beijing. In the end there was only 3 real artists in town where they draw themselves and then paste it on your body (I'm talking about the owner of the shop, not their workers).
The shop I went, I thought that the price was fair regarding the detailed piece of art, colors and time spent on the table.
First thing I looked into was hygiene before even looking into his past work.
Feeling is also important with the person, dialogue has to be relatively easy because it's important to talk about everything you feel you have to tell him. Some changes on the draft, does it hurt that bad? (it does not for 90% of your body.... but some parts are tricky!). And also simple conversation... 35 hours is long...
If you're looking into a real piece of art, they should be able to provide you samples of their previous work, and I'm not talking about pictures, which can be found on internet, but actual drawing on a piece of paper. This can't lie. During those 2 months it took, I saw his new pieces, his new drawings, made me confortable in my choice.
Here is his Flickr so you can look into some of his work: flickr . com/photos/74527882@N04/
If you are interested that's his phone : 186 11 29 69 52
Hope it can help some of you.
Jan 17, 2012 23:04 Report Abuse
Couple months ago, I went to creation tattoo tianxiciqing with my friend.
Both of us did some tattoos.
They charged RMB1,000 to 1,500 per hour, I thought it must be very professional but the results are very unprofessional, the healing process was infected and the colors are uneven.
My friend even worse, got infected till the skins problem and till now has not recover and still on medication.
They are not artists, just a copycat... not worth the price.
I would recommend Dong-Dong from Mummy Tattoo, I have been there twice & got 2 tattoo.
Dong Dong is truly artists, you are actually pay for piece of art rather than pay for the inks.
His works are incredible, go there and discover yourself :-)
Dec 12, 2011 12:13 Report Abuse
DONG DONG IS THE MAN, AMAZING ARTIST, ONE OF THE TOP NOIT JUST IN CHINA BUT IN ALL ASIA, IM GOOD FRIEND WITH HIM, HIGLY RECCOMENDE FOR TATTOOS IN BEIJING,
ALSO "HE TATTOO" IN THE MIDDLE OF SAN LI TUN AREA, NOT FAR FROM DONG DONG BUILDING, ASK FOR LAO HE, THE BOSS OF SHOP, AMAZING ARTIST TOO.....
Mar 22, 2012 11:10 Report Abuse