This summer I was at the Vietnam Tattoo Expo in Hanoi, where I had the pleasure to meet one of the international tattoo artists attending the convention: Boun Cang.
A very charming and friendly guy and above all a great tattoo artist specialized in realism work. We had the time to hang out and we even did a little tour in Hanoi visiting some interesting places like the War Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. While having a few cold beers to ease the tropical heat, we also had long chats where he told me a bit more about his interesting life and journey in the tattoo world.
In the last couple of months I kept an eye on his work and I’ve finally asked him if he wanted to be part of the first World Tattoo Events ProTeam. He gladly accepted and I did take the occasion to ask him a few more questions about him and his experience at tattoo conventions.
Here we go:
Hi Boun, for the readers which are not familiar with you, can you give us a brief introduction of yourself?
I am 37 years old Tattoo Artists and i live in Lyon, a great city in the south of France.
How & when did you start tattooing?
I started tattooing in 2013. I once had a friend tattooist who agreed to teach me the basics of tattooing. I did a classic apprenticeship.
What’s your definition of art?
For me “art” is the representation and combination of beauty, sensitivity and curiosity.
How would you define your tattoo style?
My tattoo style is realistic. Combining various aspects of “personal emotions” or “family stories” or various elements as “famous movies”, “countries”, “animals” etc.
What kind of approach do you have with your customers?
My approach with customers is to work on a 50/50 base. They give me their ideas and i show them my vision. It’s like a real team work. I always work directly at the D day in the morning with my customers. When the composition is done and we are both satisfied with it, I start the tattoo and I usually do long 7 hours sessions.
What kind of tattoos or projects do you really enjoy doing at conventions?
At conventions, I really like to do big projects usually lasting 2 days with the same person. We choose together a realistic theme. And we start two long sessions of about 8 hours each.
What kind of tattoos do you hate doing at conventions?
At conventions I don’t accept to do anything else than my “realistic style”.
Do you think you make better tattoos at the studio or at a tattoo convention?
At studio or at convention, it’s the same for me. In both cases I will always do my very best.
Do you remember the first tattoo convention you have been working at?
Yes, my first tattoo convention was a big convention in Toulouse in France. The level of the artists was very high and the show was very nice.
The one I am the most proud of, is the 1st place in Lyon, with a full leg in “Lugdunum Composition” ( about 50 hours of tattooing) representing the story of my city Lyon. This leg become famous, as it got the attention of a TV reporter which broadcasted the finished work on national French TV.
Which tattoo convention would you really like to go?
On top of my list there is the Venice Tattoo Convention as I never had the opportunity to participate yet. It’s my favorite because I know that there are not that many tattoo artist, but they all are among the best tattooist in the world. It’s like a small tattoo convention between the dream team of bad asses of the world and Venice, which is my favorite city. I love Italian art.
What’s your number one reason to attend a tattoo convention?
Mainly to make myself more known to others tattoo artist and to all the tattoo lovers. But even more important for me is to meet and discover nice people.
How many tattoo conventions do you visit every year?
I work at four or five tattoo conventions a year.
What’s your most memorable tattoo convention?
The last Hanoi Tattoo Convention in July 2018 as I met very nice people who became friends. And because it was my first time in Asia and in Vietnam. I only have good memories.
In terms of convention organization what’s for you the most important aspect?
The most important aspect is to supply tattoo artist with all they to need, to properly be able to do their work: photocopiers, strong WIFI, enough table and chairs, work station, good light, etc..!
What’s the most annoying side of a tattoo convention?
When there is so much noise and the sound from concerts or speakers is too high.
What are the next tattoo conventions you are going to attend?
I will do a tattoo collaboration with two very talented artist from Portugal and Brazil at the Urban Tattoo Show Aveyron in February 2019.
Who are the people you admire the most in this industry?
There are so many people I really admire in this world. And I get to know even more when I travel to other conventions abroad. For example this summer during my trip to Vietnam, I admired the work of Vietnamese tattoo artist in realistic style Quang Pham. And others Asian tattooist like Josh Lin, Orient Ching, Ata Ink, Ann Savage and many more. I was amazed by the really high level of the tattoo artists in Asia.
I'm the founder of World Tattoo Events. After many years of a semi-nomadic life, travelling to tattoo conventions, I'm now settled in Vietnam where I continue to focus on my work and passion: making World Tattoo Events the best possible platform for the Tattoo Conventions industry. I also own the Dragon City Ink tattoo studio in Da Nang.