In a South Korean city, indictment of tattooists sparks debate about taboo art
As societal views evolve, the crackdown raises questions about cultural biases and outdated regulations
“If a customer walks in for the first time, how am I supposed to know if they’re a gangster or not?” posed Seojun Cho, a local tattooist, in his remarks to Korea Pro. In Gwangju, South Korea’s sixth-largest city in the southeast of the peninsula, tattoo artists grapple with a quandary.
The city’s tattoo community was roiled when, last month, sixteen tattooists were indicted for allegedly inking “gangster tattoos” and illicit possession of drugs, including fentanyl. The fallout saw prosecutors seizing over $1.9 million (2.5 billion won) deemed as criminal proceeds.
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