K-Pop Tattoos: The BTS Edition

We all have a favourite artist and/or group. Most of the time, multiple! So how do people usually show their passion and enthusiasm for their favourite idols? You buy merchandise of course! Albums, apparel and even glow sticks. But material things can only go so far; and we have found some dedicated fans that have expressed themselves in the form of tattoos.

A lot of the time, the messages that songs give to us are uplifting and very relatable. Music is a tool that can be used as an aid of relaxation, and it seems that the effect it has on some, can be very different than others. We have spoken to 6 fans, who have expressed themselves in the form of a tattoo. This art form is permanent and allows you to paint a detailed picture of your thoughts and feelings!

The first two people are huge BTS 방탄소년단 fans, and we managed to divulge deeper into their tattoos.

 Aislynn: Instagram – @St.Aislynn

What is your name?  Age and country of residence?

My name is Aislynn (or Chana), 25 and I’m living in Portland, Oregon; on the west coast of the United States.

 When was the first time that you listened to K-Pop? And what keeps you so enthused about the music and/or culture?

The first time I listened to K-pop I wasn’t really interested, one of my best friends wanted to show me some new music and put on EXO’s 엑소 Monster. I agreed it was a jam, and could see how someone could get really into it, but at that moment in my life I was too busy to pay close attention. Between work, school, and finals I didn’t have time to truly appreciate the wonders that is K-pop. A couple of weeks later during winter break I stumbled upon GOT7’s 가세븐 mini web series, “Dream Knight”,  and binged the series as well as many YouTube videos. Honestly, I was drawn in by YoungJae’s 영재 laughter; and suddenly I’m 3 hours deep in YouTube with my BFF beside me showing me everything from the punk rock rebellion of G-Dragon’s “Crooked” era, to Jooheon 주헌 from MONSTA X 몬스타엑스 freaking out in a haunted house; to the breath-taking aesthetics of BTS’ 방탄소년단“Blood, Sweat, and Tears 피 땀 눈물.”

How can you not appreciate how hard working, sincere, and close knit the communities in K-pop truly are. Band members are constantly encouraging fans to stay healthy, happy, and enjoying not only their music but life in general, and vice versa.

Please explain your tattoo, for the people that may not be familiar with the design; what does it mean to you?

My tattoo is four candy-hearts with a quote from BTS’ 방탄소년단 Namjoon 남준 (Rapmonster), “You got no jams,” from a video of BTS 방탄소년단 on a flight to America. The video was filmed by J-Hope as he asked the boys to speak in English. While filming Jimin 지민 speaking English, he turns to Namjoon 남준 in the seat next to him. Jokingly, Rap Monster says

Jimin 지민, you got no jams.”

I found this playful insult both cute and silly. The humour in it makes me laugh and every time I see it, I’m reminded that I need to be more carefree and find laughter in everything. The candy-hearts were just a design choice to keep it cute and sweet. (Side note: it was the day before Valentines when I got it.) Fingers crossed I have a chance to show my tattoo to Namjoon 남준 one day!

 What made you decide on getting it? Was it an easy decision, or something that required a long thinking period?

It was a whim. I’d been wanting a new one for a while but didn’t have any solid ideas on what exactly that would be, until my BFF and I re-watched a vine compilation of BTS 방탄소년단 and the “Jimin, you got no jams” video showed up again. The idea of getting that quote was a spontaneous decision and one I have yet to regret.

What do your friends (non-Kpop) and family think about your tattoo, and your general interest in K-Pop and Korean culture as a whole?

They think it’s cute but they don’t understand the reference to BTS 방탄소년단. It’s seen as juvenile to be interested in “boy bands” here in the US, so I receive plenty of eye rolls and awkward laughter when people realize how enthusiastic I am about K-pop and the artistry behind it. However, it opens a dialogue to discuss just how incredible the culture and people in K-pop truly are and I always get excited when someone gets the reference and we can talk about it together.

What are your favourite aspects of Korean culture?

Korean culture is extremely fascinating to me. The dedication to creating quality content is inspiring and motivating. The creativity found throughout the culture from fashion to MV concepts, the innovation of the next wave of entertainment and the dedication in the individuals who work extremely hard to present only their best inspires me to continue with my own exploration of art and the things I enjoy.

Who are your favourite artists/groups?

My most listened to songs on Spotify are from Big Bang 빅방, BTS 방탄소년단 MONSTA  X 몬스타엑스, GOT7 갓세븐, and Jay Park 박재범. I’ve recently been getting to other artists like OHHYUK, Grey, Dean, and NCT U

Do you think that you’ll get any more K-Pop/Korean themed tattoos?

I’ve got a couple planned out for other bands, but I’m also interested in researching Korean art history/art and getting a piece inspired from that.

 

Heather: Instagram – @BangtanArmyBrat

Name and Location:

Heather/RapMon☆  Los Angeles.

When was the first time that you listened to K-Pop? And what keeps you so enthused about the music and/or culture?

It was around 2009 but I felt like when I really started listening to everything and branching out was in late 2011.

Please explain your tattoo, for the people that may not be familiar with the design; what does it mean to you?

When it comes to my tattoos I tend to get things that are very meaningful in my life for one reason or another. There are multiple pre-debut BTS 방탄소년단 songs in which Rap Monster says

“Time flows like stars”.

It’s always been my dream to personally ask him what it means to him. To me, it can be that time flows beautifully and almost infinitely like the stars when you look at the night sky. If you shine bright enough, people all over will take notice. I also thought that would go well with my love of Super Mario so I Incorporated some Mario stars into the design.

What made you decide on getting it? Was it an easy decision, or something that required a long thinking period?

Within 6 months of finding BTS 방탄소년단 I knew I wanted to get a tattoo, they just had that much of an impact on me. It didn’t take much time to figure out what I wanted design wise after that.

What are your favourite aspects of Korean culture?

Food, fashion and skin-ship.

What do your friends (non-K-pop) and family think about your tattoo, and your general interest in K-Pop and Korean culture as a whole?

I had a lot of tattoos already for many years so there wasn’t any feedback on it. One of my best friends likes to tease me a little about liking K-Pop but all in good fun.

Who are your favourite artists/groups?

BTS 방탄소년단 is #1 and my main focus, but I always have love for the original DBSK, Crush, Jay Park, Zion T, and Illionaire. I’ve moved away from K-Pop and more into Korean Hip Hop and R&B.

Do you think that you’ll get any more K-Pop/Korean themed tattoos?

I was thinking about modifying my BTS 방탄소년단 logo tattoo a bit, but I doubt I will get any more. They stole my heart.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Tattoos are not for everyone. I do not encourage getting a K-Pop tattoo as your first tattoo, especially if you are young. Who knows if the group will still exist or if you’ll still like them in 5 or 10+ years from now?  In the same breath I’ll also say, you know what is best for you.

 

What are your thoughts on K-Pop tattoos?

Stay tuned for more features on this topic!

 

 

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