Masters Of Ink: Tattooing Human Emotions With South Korean Artist Kim Mi Hee

Masters of Ink is a Konbini original introducing you to a whole spectrum of tattoo artists from all over the world. Custom designers specializing in every style from modern dotwork to traditional Americana tattoos – tune in for something new every week!


Tattoo art is right on the border between traditions and modernity, art and philosophy. More and more artists are playing with ancient cultures by infusing them with modern aesthetics, and Kim Mi Hee is one of them. The South Korean tattoo artist enjoys mixing old etchings with pop culture, dark humor and social questioning. She explains:

"I have always been fascinated with paintings and sculptures that depict human emotions. So now, I’m drawing emotions on bodies, making connections between people and things such as art, and vice versa."

Of course, Kim uses artistic references from Asia, yet she refutes being influenced by the country in which she lives. According to her, she draws what she wants without worrying about the Korean tattoo code.

Kim says her sources of inspiration are at the same time contemporary and slightly old-fashioned. Indeed, she’s influenced by photography, songs and movies as well as cartoons, but Kim is especially keen on 90s esthetics, attracted by their peculiar colors.

"I don’t think I should simply engrave the tattoos that people want. I consider myself an artist, and as an artist, I think I should pay attention to various fields."

While trying to express human feelings and relationships, she also seems obsessed with the body and anatomy. Many of Kim's tattoos are body-positive and discuss identity. The artist builds artistic bridges between soul and flesh thanks to her offbeat tattoos, which she describes as "the strongest amulets in the world." She states:

"I never explain the meaning of my designs to people. You have to interpret yourself, to make your own choice. Whatever you pick, don’t be ashamed of what you've gained."

Follow Kim Mi Hee on Instagram and see more of her work below:

By Jen Ripper, publish on 30/11/2017