With G-Dragon announcing his second world tour, we thought that it was the perfect time to introduce the next K-Pop Tattoo entry! Meet the next fan that has been inspired by the multi-genius!
What is your name? Age and country of residence?
My name is Tobi, I’m 26 and I live in Portland, Oregon, USA.
When was the first time that you listened to K-Pop? And what keeps you so enthused about the music and/or culture?
My first experience with K-Pop was with SuperJunior’s song “Happiness”, in the late 2000’s. I didn’t really get into K-Pop the way I am now until last year though. The music is amazing, but it’s really the people that keep me here and invested. The groups are so devoted not only to their music but to having an honest relationship with their fans; their hard work is so sincere that I feel like it’s impossible to not love them. There is good and bad, as is true of any entertainment industry, but honestly, the community and sincerity really keep me excited to be a fan.
What are your favourite aspects of Korean culture?
Just like I was saying before, the sense of community and the focus on hard work, dedication, and delivering the best self-possible really attracts me. The aesthetics are obviously flawless, but more so than that, Korean culture is a truly exciting, innovative, creative entity that continues to surprise me. I like being surprised.
Please explain your tattoo, for the people that may not be familiar with the design; what does it mean to you?
My tattoo is an homage to G-Dragon’s fashion company, “PEACEMINUSONE”, which he uses as a platform to collaborate with his friend and stylist, GeeEun; as well as other fashion icons and artists. It’s my own version of a design; of his label, logo and symbol.
What made you decide on getting it? Was it an easy decision, or something that required a long thinking period?
I myself am an artist and a designer. G-Dragon has been a huge inspiration to me and my personal work, and while I don’t work in fashion but rather more traditional arts; his motivation, drive and creativity inspire me and help me to push for more daily in my own practice. This tattoo is my way of connecting to him and his work, in just one small way. It was an incredibly easy decision for me to make, and I don’t regret it in the least.
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?
I definitely get a lot of confused laughs when I explain my tattoo, and a few knowing headshakes when people hear it’s related to K-Pop. But I’ve been lucky enough that it’s opened the door for some very interesting conversations, with people who become genuinely curious about it. My family just think I’m weird, but that is a pre-existing condition.
Who are your favourite artists/groups?
Big Bang빅뱅 was my first love, and will always be my ultimate love; but I am also hopeless for BTS 방탄소년단, GOT7 갓세븐, SHINee 샤이니, Monsta X 몬스타엑스, and Topp Dogg탑독.
Do you think that you’ll get any more K-Pop/Korean themed tattoos?
Definitely! I have a few planned already.
Is there anything that you would like to add?
K-Pop and Korean culture aren’t just an aesthetic. These are real people who work so hard every day for the sake of their fans, and being an international fan means working that much harder to reach out and connect with them. Tattoos are one way of doing it, but they aren’t the only way. Hopefully, as K-Pop grows more popular, the international community will be able to bridge some of this gap to become closer to these artists and groups.
Feature Image Photo Credit: Getty Images