Photo above by Kamila Burzymowska.
Hi Vincent! It’s great to talk with you. You are the organizer of the Taipei Tattoo Show. This event brings together fans of tattoos and music in one place. Last year, your show did not take place due to problems with Covid 19. This year, everything indicates that the event will take place. How would you describe the changes in organizing an event today (in times of a pandemic) and in the day when we had no problem with the virus?
Hi, dear Kamila. We haven’t seen each other for a long time. It has been two years since I last met you at a tattoo fair in Poland.
The fierce Covid-19 occurred suddenly in 2020 due to the rapid arrival of the epidemic and massive spread around the world. For the safety of fans of the event and to comply with Taiwan government regulations, we decided to suspend the event for one year and move the fourth tattoo exhibition in 2020 to this year, which is June 11-12-13, 2021.
In 2021, to this day, there are still many countries around the world, and the friends we are familiar with are still unable to travel, and they cannot go to any country where they want to go to attend tattoo exhibitions as before. This is beyond our original expected time. Since this Covid19 is still happening today, it is estimated that we may have to wait over a year at the earliest. I can’t be sure of that.
In Taiwan, outbreak prevention and control have gone relatively well since the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. Here we have been living a normal life for a long time. If you want to work, you have to relax. But we still attach great importance to wearing masks and personal hygiene. It has become a habit for the people of Taiwan.
We have formally decided that the tattoo show will be held June 11-12-13 as planned. The biggest original intention is to activate the tattoo market, and then help the participating tattoo artists and stores to do a good job in advertising. This time, almost all Taiwanese tattoo artists should participate in the exhibition, but we want to present the best possible state of affairs. Although we are still in the era of raging epidemics, art is not dead, rock and roll is not dead, we live in the present and consider ourselves. Rong!
We will provide the safest environment and anti-epidemic supplies such as masks. Also, this time we provide PLA, environmentally friendly degradable consumables for all tattooists to use at the exhibition. We can say that this is a “green tattoo exhibition”, which is rarely done in the world! We feel honored and excited! Do your part for the earth!
I mentioned before that the Taipei Tattoo Show is a musical event and convention for fans of tattoos. How did you come up with the idea of combining concerts and tattoo booths?
As the organizer of Taipei Tattoo Expo, I have always hoped to combine popular and highly accepted music with tattoo art. Since both are a type of art, I think someone needs to combine the two, especially in Taipei. Taipei is the capital of Taiwan. The newest and most popular culture is here. When it comes to tattoo art, if there is going to be a carnival in this city, it should be very special, diverse and all encompassing art. So the name of my exhibition is “TAIPEI TATTOO & MUSIC FESTIVAL”.
Now you have several years of experience in organizing a tattoo convention. How do you remember the organization of your first event? Was it a difficult challenge?
I certainly remember the process of creating my first tattoo exhibition. It was a difficult process and full of doubts, because a tattoo exhibition is an event for tattoo artists that involves a lot of work and many details.
In the past, I have been a tattoo artist who has participated in exhibitions in many countries. I believe it is important to take every trip with me. That’s why I’ve been to Las Vegas, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, France, Poland, mainland China, Mexico in South America, etc. The farthest trip was the one to Bolivia, which was definitely unforgettable!
Each time I come back with a different experience, and in my mind I have the perfect format of an exhibition to execute. And so, by chance, I started organizing a tattoo exhibition. I found a partner of the current music festival, and my friends at the original tattoo store, who became my dream partners.
The first tattoo exhibition went as planned, but in the next event I will slowly correct the shortcomings to make my event better and better. With this mentality, I continue to organize the exhibition.
The biggest feature of our exhibition is that in addition to the 3-day music festival, we have more than 20 orchestra performances, toys for kids, and even snacks for busy tattooists. And customers are happily occupied for three days!
You need to stick to your ideals and put yourself in the exhibitors’ perspective to think through every decision. Only by creating the best exhibition in your mind, you can move the people attending your exhibition. And you have to be open to accepting erroneous corrections, be brave to make changes, and listen to the ideas of the public and tattoo artists who come to the exhibition.
Is there any tattoo artist, performer, or musician you dream about that one day could appear on the Taipei Tattoo Show?
Yes, of course. I would really like to one day be able to invite world-renowned tattoo artists to my show. I can’t say who may or may not come. But all the tattoo stars that we are all waiting for can come to our show. I think the most important thing is to make a great show and that’s what will attract them to come. That’s the best way to do it.
Also inviting a superstar singer or DJ will be our dream. But now we often invite a famous local music band in Taiwan to our show. Because the idea of the festival mostly is not like a normal concert show we are sure that the band can bring new customers.
You travel around Europe and have likely attended many tattoo conventions there. Did something surprise you or you like it very much?
I have been to tattoo exhibitions in so many countries. European tattoo exhibitions surprised me the most, especially Warsaw Tattoo Convention in Poland. There are really many powerful painters and tattooists there, which is rare in the world. Many tattoo artists may be very talented, but they are very humble. I really think they should participate in more tattoo exhibitions in Asia or other regions to increase their visibility!
Most organizers of large and well-organized events (just like yours) have dreams about how their event would look in the near future. What would you like to achieve in this matter?
Yes, so far the tattoo exhibitions I have organized are still going in my ideal direction and are very much appreciated. Many people have participated in our activities since the first edition and regularly attend every year, whether from Taiwan or other countries from Europe. I remember the tattoo masters from Greece. They all have a great time every time they come!
I really hope that this exhibition combining music and tattoos will be known to more people in the near future. Especially next year 2022, it is an important year, which is the fifth Taipei Tattoo Expo. Then there will definitely be very key figures and important exhibitions there!
First, next year will be the year to say goodbye to Covid-19, and the epidemic will finally pass. Second, the number five is a very memorable number for everyone. Third, I hope that Kamila Burzymowska and her assistant will smoothly go about recording our activities and have fun with us! Fourth, we hope that in the future Taipei Tattoo Show can become a representative event in Taipei City where the government promotes tourism!
Do you have any favorite event that you are always eager to attend? If so, which one and why?
I went to many conventions and I liked them all. I think the show in Bolivia – The Art Tattoo of Bolivia – stuck in my memory the most. It was amazing and wonderful. The organizer, Gunnar, is a friend of mine.
Yes, it is different. Taiwan and Asia like Japanese tattoo very much. And Europe likes the realistic one the most.
Finally, please tell me what the Taipei Tattoo Show will look like this year and what can visitors and tattooers expect?
Throughout the past year, we have all experienced a rare disaster in our lifetime. No one has experience with this epidemic and no one knows what will happen in the future. Therefore, it is really important to live in the moment!
In 2021, many Taiwanese are very eager for domestic tourism, and the economy is recovering in many places. This is a very good phenomenon. The exhibition is expected to bring the fairest tattoo contest for tattoo artists. Many tattoo artists and many tattoo guests are expected. For the fans who come to the show, we will prepare the best music festival. We will let them listen to LIVE music while getting tattoos. This is definitely an exhibition that pleases both eyes and ears!