Before exploring tattooing, the 27-year-old artist studied environmental sculpture at Seoul National University. Pauline, a well-known Korean tattoo artist, started her career in 2015 and has since done numerous guest spots in Asia and Europe. His art is characterized by figurative distortion, scribbling lines, passion and movement. Pauline’s delicate tattoos are influenced by 19th and 20th century Austrian art. He frequently works with a single line to create floral designs (lilies, tulips and roses).
Above: Pauline created a floral piece using black and white pigments.
With sketch lines and figurative distortion, an amorous pair.
Where does the inspiration for your drawing style come from?
My work is inspired by the sketches of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. I often draw shapes in which two things intertwine [like two hands connecting, a couple in love], and it is interesting to untangle this emotion in the expression with lines. I appreciate the lines that are drawn without being aware of it. They are made spontaneously and based on emotion, so each drawing is unique.
The emotional line portraits of Pauline.
So you don’t aim for perfection in your work but rather for emotion?
Yes I think so. In my paintings, I have never sought perfection. I guess I express myself through my art and search for emotions.
Additionally, the artist incorporates color into her thin line tattoos.
What kind of tables do you want to create? Within the confines of your tattoo style or otherwise?
I’m interested in line art or rough, dark textures like charcoal, brushes, etc.
The subject of love and passion comes up throughout.
As a result, you consider tattooing to be an art. Why do you think art institutes (museums and galleries) find it difficult to accept this profession?
It has not been and will not be easy to gain acceptance. But I believe that it is linked to an important cultural role. It’s all just prejudice, with a lot of potential [for change] one day.
A simplified reproduction of “The Creation of Adam” from 1508-1512.
How do you approach your creative work?
In most cases, I only prepare one concept. And plan ahead to discuss the design with the client. Some images take five minutes to create, while others take several days. Sometimes I like lines that I’ve drawn without realizing it, and I don’t like certain drawings too much, no matter how much I edit them. Rather than modifying the image further, I usually draw a new one. I believe this is well expressed in my line drawings.
Although this tattoo is cool, the white ink heals differently than other inks.
Do your customers ask for white ink or do you offer it for specific works?
At first, I deliberately included it in my designs, as I wanted them to be more memorable than other tattoos. However, many clients now want white ink to demonstrate how white tattoos have become part of my artistic identity.
Intertwined faces for this evocative artistic creation.
Your line art reminds me of the flow of music. Do you listen to music when you work?
Yes, I can feel the music; it’s incredible ! I constantly listen to music. When I tattoo, draw, drive, etc., I almost always listen to music. There is no specific musical genre in mind. If you fall in love with a song, you usually want to hear it over and over for days.
Pauline in her element, in a private tattoo studio.
What else flows for you?
When I see the sea, I feel comfortable and relieved, even if I have a lot of worries or feel suffocated. When I am in the presence of Mother Nature, my worries disappear.
Photos Â© Pauline