For many people, tattoos seem to go deeper than just skin deep, psychologists say. They create a deep personal change, which makes a person mentally stronger. Sion Kwak is a tattooist from South Korea whose works will not be confused with any other artist’s, because of her signature style. Red laces, beads with intricate ornaments, and colorful animals — all these elements are united to create meaningful pictures on people’s skin.

We at Enlighten take our hats off to the genuine skill of this tattooist, and we’d love for you to admire some of her work together with us.

The love for tattoo art came to the artist with her mother’s milk.

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In her interview with Enlighten, Sion says: “I was strongly inspired by my mother, who is also a tattoo artist, when I was a child. I carefully watched her work and learned a few things, starting from basic skills in the beginning. But because our drawing styles are different, I created my own style mostly by myself after learning those basic skills.”

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The signature technique of the artist has no name, but it does have a powerful message.

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Many of Sion’s works include red strings that have a special significance for the artist. As she explains, they represent the flow of life and “Yin-Yeon” — the ties and bond between people. The beads and pendants that are threaded with strings show different pictures: from flowers to animals, and these elements have a special meaning for the people who ask Sion to do their tattoos.

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Sometimes, she combines the pictures with phrases, and these tattoos have a deep philosophy behind them. One of her recent works depicts the sun and moon inside a norigae with the phrase “아무도 날 모르는 곳에” which means “where no one knows me” in Korean.
The square pendant with the sun and the scenery of a vast mountain and nature was designed by envisioning the “unknown” place, which holds the meaning of the phrase. The moon is expressed in a simple way, hanging on the black and gray strings.

The artist’s source of inspiration are people and their life stories.

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Sion tries to get a sense of the life her clients live and her inspirations are the life stories that she hears and the people that she meets, who are also the ones sharing those stories. By listening to them and communicating thoroughly, she can get creative and come up with different ideas for her drawings. Sometimes her clients are her partners in creating unique tattoo designs.

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Here’s a tattoo she made in collaboration with Zihaes.tale for one of her clients which expresses conflicting self. ⁣”It’s hard to face it sometimes, but it’s all part of who we are and the emotions we need,” says the artist.⁣
2 strings that are bright and dark represent the 2 sides of the conflicting self. The overall strings are expressed as a long flow and the pendants depict 2 different girls, who turn out to be 2 sides of one personality.

Sion never gets tired of learning and sharing knowledge at the same time.

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